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I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend (original 1954; edition 2007)

by Richard Matheson

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5,063188888 (3.87)84
Title:I Am Legend
Authors:Richard Matheson
Info:Tor Books (2007), Edition: 1ST, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, SF Masterworks
Tags:plague, vampires, survival, post-apocalypse

Work details

I Am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson (1954)

  1. 20
    The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson (sturlington)
    sturlington: Similar in many ways. Each stays in the head of a solitary hero, isolated by unnatural events beyond his control, struggling to hold onto his sanity and his sense of self.
  2. 21
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (KatyBee)
  3. 11
    No Blade of Grass by John Christopher (crdf)
  4. 02
    The Mouse on the Mile by Stephen King (VictoriaPL)

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» See also 84 mentions

English (186)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (188)
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
The basis for the 1971 movie The Omega Man (which I haven't seen, but from plot summaries, doesn't seem to follow the book very closely), and also the basis for a 2007 release starring Will Smith (!?). This wasn't my pick; it was my book club selection for the month. I was unaware that Matheson was such a prolifically commercial writer, as well... He's the pen behind The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Legend of Hell House, the Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (and many others) and one of the worst Star Trek episodes ever: The Enemy Within (good vs. evil Kirk!). The list goes on...
"I Am Legend," although ostensibly a sci-fi/vampire story, is pretty much every zombie movie you have ever seen. I feel it was worth reading just because I never knew that the basic plot (collapse of society due to people 'turning', man holed up & attempting to survive through ingenuity vs. legions of ravening, slavering undead) had been invented so early - 1954. ('Night of the Living Dead' didn't come out till 1968.)
However, innovative and influential as the story may have been,it's not really a particularly good novel. The writing style felt very dated, to me, and, short as it was, it was rather boring. Much of the book has our last-man-on-earth (?) holed up in his apartment, feeling alternately self-pitying or self-congratulating, constantly whining about being horny, and acting macho. The story's a great idea - but it's subsequently been done better. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I liked it but I agree with many of the reviewers who said it was too short. I like something that I can savor a little longer. The story was good but I don't understand the cult like following this book has. It was OK but that's all it was. As far as the short stories after "I am Ledgend", I've only read the first three and I didn't care for any of them. I wish my copy of "Misery" would have came it so I'd have something decent to read tonight. Since it didn't I'll give the other stories a shot but so far it doesn't look good. ( )
  ralphs007 | Jan 24, 2016 |
The short story (novella?) "I Am Legend" starts this collection, and it's a good one! Robert Neville is the only one left after a plague turns most of the world's people into vampires! It's a very different tale then the one that was made into a movie, and very much worth reading! Ten more short stories round out this volume, most filled with some kind of suspense, terror, or downright horror. Just remember as you read them, do NOT pick up that phone ringing in your head! You have been warned! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
This book surprised me. It was very good, and I found myself completely engrossed. I read it before watching the movie, and I think that always helps because there are no preconceived images in mind before you turn to the first page. It was a very easy read, hard to put down and everything a summer novel should be. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
I was pretty underwhelmed by this book, I didn't hate it and I didn't have to force myself to finish it, I was just, underwhelmed. I'm not really sure how this story became such classic that it was filmed three times. I also didn't realize that the version I read was a collection of short stories by the author, I read two of them after I Am Legend ended before I realized what they were...it was a tad confusing. I liked the other short stories much better than I Am Legend, especially Prey which was adapted into the short story in the film The Trilogy of Terror and seriously freaked me out as a child. It was worth reading for the other short stories and to finally see the origin of the three movies, but not really worth going out of your way to read. ( )
  Kellswitch | Aug 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Mathesonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rasovsky, YuriNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
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Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To HENRY KUTTNER with my grateful thanks for his help and encouragement on this book.
First words
On those cloudy days, Robert Neville was never sure when sunset came, and sometimes they were in the streets before he could get back.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the work for a short story collection, which includes the novella "I Am Legend". Please do NOT combine it with the main "I Am Legend" work which just contains the novel.

Stories contained in this work are:
I am legend --
Buried talents --
The near departed --
Prey --
Witch war --
Dance of the dead --
Dress of white silk --
Mad house --
The funeral --
From shadowed places --
Person to person
Publisher's editors
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description

Robert Neville may well be the only survivor of an incurable plague that has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him.

By day, he scavenges for food and supplies, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But all the while the infected lurk in the shadows, watching his every move, waiting for him to make a mistake....

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 031286504X, Paperback)

One of the most influential vampire novels of the 20th century, I Am Legend regularly appears on the "10 Best" lists of numerous critical studies of the horror genre. As Richard Matheson's third novel, it was first marketed as science fiction (for although written in 1954, the story takes place in a future 1976). A terrible plague has decimated the world, and those who were unfortunate enough to survive have been transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Except, that is, for Robert Neville. He alone appears to be immune to this disease, but the grim irony is that now he is the outsider. He is the legendary monster who must be destroyed because he is different from everyone else. Employing a stark, almost documentary style, Richard Matheson was one of the first writers to convince us that the undead can lurk in a local supermarket freezer as well as a remote Gothic castle. His influence on a generation of bestselling authors--including Stephen King and Dean Koontz--who first read him in their youth is, well, legendary. --Stanley Wiater

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:03 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

As the last living person on Earth, Robert Neville spends his days hunting vampires and nights barricaded inside his home while the vampires come after him.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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