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I Am Legend (1954)

by Richard Matheson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,0101602,077 (3.97)451
An acclaimed SF novel about vampires. The last man on earth is not alone . . . Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth . . . but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville's blood. By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn. How long can one man survive like this?… (more)
  1. 172
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Rynooo, PDcastello)
    PDcastello: Same type of small and silent epic
  2. 103
    The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (Patangel)
  3. 30
    The Martian by Andy Weir (johnny_merc)
    johnny_merc: Totally different genre; but another interesting take on the man alone genre. Also interesting that the main protagonist resorts to science to resolve issues.
  4. 53
    The Strain by Guillermo del Toro (Joles)
    Joles: The authors treat vampires in a similar light. The Strain could very well be what leads up to Matheson's I Am Legend.
  5. 21
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (47degreesnorth)
    47degreesnorth: Excellent post-apocalyptic story set in Colorado. Well developed story and characters.
  6. 00
    la nuit a devore le monde by Pit Agarmen (yokai)
  7. 22
    H5N1 Code Name: GREED by Jacqueline Druga (cmwilson101, cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Both of these books are about sole survivors who make it their aim in life to kill the monsters that have taken over the world; in I am Legend, the monsters are vampires, and in H5N1, the monsters are somewhat-rational zombies.
    cmwilson101: Both of these books are about sole survivors who make it their aim in life to kill the monsters that have taken over the world; in I am Legend, the monsters are vampires, and in H5N1, the monsters are somewhat-rational zombies.
  8. 00
    An Awkward Age by Anna Starobinets (lobotomy42)
    lobotomy42: Similar style of short story, often with a gruesome twist.
  9. 01
    Le Dernier Monde by Céline Minard (Cypress)
  10. 02
    That Which Should Not Be by Brett J. Talley (Joles)
Kayla (2)
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» See also 451 mentions

English (142)  French (8)  Italian (5)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (160)
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
I'd been meaning to read I Am Legend for a while before finally getting around to it. In the meantime I'd seen Francis Lawrence's film adaptation. I knew changes had been made to the story for the film, but I naively thought they were going to be simple plot changes: a character dies who had survived or vice versa, someone is introduced sooner, maybe even something bigger like Will Smith finding a cure where the novel's Neville had failed or again vice versa. I was wholly unprepared for the humdinger of a change: the very nature and meaning of the story to be flipped, turned upside down, and I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, and I'll tell you how I became the Prince of– no, wait, that's a different Will Smith thing. Let me start again.

The essence of the story is that a curious affliction has struck humanity; perhaps just the west coast of the US, maybe the whole of the US, or maybe even the whole world. This affliction turns people into vampires, complete with an aversion to ultraviolet light and a weakness to having dirty great stakes thrust through their thorax. Robert Neville lives alone in Los Angeles researching the disease to which he is immune, hoping to find a cure, and killing the afflicted in his spare time.

His humdrum existence (told, to be honest, via rather humdrum prose) is shaken when he meets Ruth, a second survivor. Suddenly just being with another human being, the one thing we all assume we would miss if it were taken away, is the alien concept. Ruth's appearance is the shove that the rather lumbering story needs to lurch towards its conclusion which, to quote Nataliya's rather excellent review, is where lies the book's “soul-crushing impact”.

I Am Legend is undeniably flawed. And not even a flawed masterpiece, but just downright flawed. The characters are few in number and yet still come across as wooden. Neville, our only companion for half the book, isn't particularly good company. The first half is too slow, the second half could be fleshed out. But a book isn't just a bunch of clever words strung together in the right order. A book is a chalice for winged ideas. And the idea here soars. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
I'd been meaning to read I Am Legend for a while before finally getting around to it. In the meantime I'd seen Francis Lawrence's film adaptation. I knew changes had been made to the story for the film, but I naively thought they were going to be simple plot changes: a character dies who had survived or vice versa, someone is introduced sooner, maybe even something bigger like Will Smith finding a cure where the novel's Neville had failed or again vice versa. I was wholly unprepared for the humdinger of a change: the very nature and meaning of the story to be flipped, turned upside down, and I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, and I'll tell you how I became the Prince of– no, wait, that's a different Will Smith thing. Let me start again.

The essence of the story is that a curious affliction has struck humanity; perhaps just the west coast of the US, maybe the whole of the US, or maybe even the whole world. This affliction turns people into vampires, complete with an aversion to ultraviolet light and a weakness to having dirty great stakes thrust through their thorax. Robert Neville lives alone in Los Angeles researching the disease to which he is immune, hoping to find a cure, and killing the afflicted in his spare time.

His humdrum existence (told, to be honest, via rather humdrum prose) is shaken when he meets Ruth, a second survivor. Suddenly just being with another human being, the one thing we all assume we would miss if it were taken away, is the alien concept. Ruth's appearance is the shove that the rather lumbering story needs to lurch towards its conclusion which, to quote Nataliya's rather excellent review, is where lies the book's “soul-crushing impact”.

I Am Legend is undeniably flawed. And not even a flawed masterpiece, but just downright flawed. The characters are few in number and yet still come across as wooden. Neville, our only companion for half the book, isn't particularly good company. The first half is too slow, the second half could be fleshed out. But a book isn't just a bunch of clever words strung together in the right order. A book is a chalice for winged ideas. And the idea here soars. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
1286 ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
The movie did not make it justice

I think Will Smith's movie is a good one. But Richard Matheson's original story is just too good. I couldn't stop reading. ( )
  Miguel.Arvelo | Jun 9, 2020 |
This is my second Matheson book. He is a good writer and I'll look for more of his works. Not everything he wrote was SF. Much was horror.

The book was short but interesting and fast moving. I wish he had fleshed it out more but I believe he wanted to keep up the pace. ( )
  ikeman100 | Apr 12, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
Matheson maakt op een briljant-ingenieuze wijze gebruik van de Vampiermythe voor Essef doeleinden
added by karnoefel | editNBD / Biblion
 
Glavni junak romana, Robert Nevil, poslednji je čovek u svetu zaraženom vampirizmom. Zabarikadiran u svom domu, on svake noći vodi bitku da preživi do svitanja, pri čemu mu neprijatelji nisu samo krvožedni stvorovi napolju, nego i sopstveni nagoni, ludilo koje vreba i uspomene na lepšu prošlost. Sudbinu Roberta Nevila na kraju zapečatiće jedna žena čija će ga izdaja suočiti sa istinom da se shvatanje normalnosti preokrenulo i da je sada sam na njenoj drugoj strani. Na onoj strani na kojoj se stupa u legendu.

Prvenstvena tema Metisonovog dela je „opasna različitost”. Njegovi vampiri su sivi i istovetni, simbol vladavine populizma, dok je Nevil večiti pojedinac u borbi protiv neprijateljskih sila prirode i društva.
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com
 

» Add other authors (51 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Matheson, Richardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hasted, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JoeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sleight, GrahamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Straßl, LoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thiesen, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To Henry Kuttner with my grateful thanks for his help and encouragement on this book.
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On those cloudy days, Robert Neville was never sure when sunset came, and sometimes they were in the streets before he could get back.
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Disambiguation notice
This work just contains the short novel "I Am Legend". Please do not combine other works entitled "I Am Legend" which contain the short novel and short stories with it.
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THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
IS NOT ALONE

Robert Neville may well be the only survivor of an incurable plague that had mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloddthirsty, 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...
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