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I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend (original 1954; edition 2007)

by Richard Matheson (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,8832091,090 (3.87)97
Title:I Am Legend
Authors:Richard Matheson (Author)
Info:Tor Books (2007), Edition: 2, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

  1. 20
    The Death of Grass by John Christopher (crdf)
  2. 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.
  3. 31
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (KatyBee)
  4. 02
    The Mouse on the Mile by Stephen King (VictoriaPL)

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» See also 97 mentions

English (206)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (208)
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading this book, but I'm glad I finally did.

First of all, I had no idea that 'I am Legend' actually encompasses a number of novellas and short stories--my personal copy gives no indication on the cover or back cover that it's not just a novel, so I was shocked when I realized there were around a dozen stories here. And perhaps because of my familiarity with the title story--through film and tv--that actually wasn't as powerful as some of the other, shorter ones, such as "Prey", "Dance of the Dead", and "The Funeral".

All told, I found every story here to be worth the time and attention--Matheson is a master of horror, and this is such a varied collection that it's impossible to be prepared for what comes with each new story. I'd absolutely recommend each story here to any horror reader, and I have no doubt that I'll come back to many of them for re-reading. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Feb 3, 2019 |
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson is a post-apocalyptic tale that was originally published in 1954. The story is told by Robert Neville, who appears to be the last surviving human of a pandemic whose symptoms resemble vampirism. The disease came about after an atomic war from which dust storms arose that rapidly spread the germs. This book has seem many film adaptations and has strongly influenced both the vampire/zombie genre and the concept of a worldwide disease apocalypse.

The story details Neville’s daily life in this bleak and scary Los Angeles as he outwardly goes about trying to keep himself supplied and safe while inwardly he attempts to understand and come to terms with the way the world has become. Every night he barricades himself into his house while the vampires gather outside and try to lure him out. After a period of depression and heavy drinking he turns to learning more about the disease and investigating the possibility of finding a cure.

I Am Legend is a masterpiece of scientific horror fiction and I can’t believe that I somehow managed to miss reading this book before now. As with many science fiction books from the 1950’s the author explores the nature of humanity and the pressure that loneliness can put on one’s sanity. Written in a clean, crisp style, I was immediately drawn into this story and pleased that the author’s vision remains fresh and current. For me, with my love of survival and apocalyptic stories, this was a brilliant read. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Jan 6, 2019 |
The book is actually short stories, not one story as I thought.
The first story of I Am Legend grabbed me from the beginning. The thoughts, action and emotions were well written. The descriptions of events was also well done. I was surprised to learn the book was published in 1954, but takes place in the 70's.
A bacteria has spread and the people are dying and the authorities are demanding that all the bodies be burned. Those bodies that aren't burned, aren't really dead, or rather they are the undead.
Robert Neville finds he's the only survivor in L.A. and he's hypothosized as to why this could be. He's also found ways to survive and fight going insane and fight his alcholism. Why does he fight? Why doesn't he let them take him? These types of questions go through his head constantly.
Then, one day, he finds out the bateria that has caused all of this . . . is mutating.

One of the other stories in the book is called Prey and it was made into a Twilight Zone show. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
I am starting to realize that book-to-film comparisons are kind of my jam...with that said: I am a huge fan of I Am Legend the film. The book is, as you have probably heard, so completely different. Tone, plot, characterization, everything. Still worth the read, especially if like the film and/or horror. I listened the the audio version of this on our train to and from NY (listening to audiobooks on long train rides 10/10 would recommend) and I enjoyed the narration quite a bit. The narrator does a great job of bringing Matheson's Robert Neville to life. Something that was quite different from the movie, and that I absolutely loved, was how human the vampires were and the whole explanation behind that. For me, that was the horrifying part. Not seeing humanity erased but transformed into something else entirely. Unfortunately, what dropped it down from 4 to 3 stars for me was some of kind of misogynistic language. When the female character (who is nothing like the one in the film) finally enters Matheson/Neville spends a lot of time talking about her body and was just a little icky. I am not making excuses, but it was written in 1954 and it was not overly offensive and certainly not a reason to avoid the book altogether. That being said, I was so intrigued by her character- she ends up being this kind of, like, low key morally ambiguous bad ass. I felt like Matheson was trying to paint her as the bad guy but unintentionally made her a kind of post-apocalyptic feminist. So I enjoyed this. I am really glad I listened to it, it is a quick listen at about 5 hours, and would definitely recommend for fans of the film and horror genre. ( )
  EliseLaForge | Nov 20, 2018 |
i found the character tedious but the story was pretty good. the other stories were not that good. ( )
  mahallett | Sep 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Mathesonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rasovsky, YuriNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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)

"Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth ... but he is not alone. Every other man, woman, and child on Earth has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood"--Publisher's description, I am legend.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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