Saturday, August 31, 2013
I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Narrator: Robertson Dean
Description: Robert Neville is the only survivor of a plague that has turned all of humanity into vampires.
Review: If you're tired of all the zombie books out there, this is the book that's, indirectly, to blame. While it contains no zombies, it did inspire Night of the Living Dead.
As for the book itself, its not bad. It does feel dated however, with the narrator and his wife having separate beds, which seems more fifties sitcom than real life.
However it does capture the narrator's feelings of loss, hopelessness, and his growing need to find a purpose very well. It also sets up the ending in a believable way.
Certain elements do seem a bit implausible if you give them any real thought. For example, even if you can keep a generator running reliably for three years, the odds you still have a freezer containing food by that point seems unlikely. There's certainly nothing in the text that suggests the main character has started growing crops to replenish what he'd salvaged originally, and freezers are only so big.
Now, if we can just get Hollywood to stop screwing up adaptations of it. The Last Man on Earth(1964) and I Am Legend(2007) are both good movies, but they fall short when it comes to the ending. The Omega Man(1971) might, possibly, be a good Charlton Heston movie*, but its a terrible adaptation of this book.
*I'd say no, but I've only other one I've seen is Soylent Green.