Cameron's Reviews > I Am Legend and Other Stories

I Am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson
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Oct 26, 08

bookshelves: horror, post-apocalypse
Read in January, 2006

A classic post-apocalypse tale; well-written, meaningful, believable. The descriptions of Neville's anguish and self abuse as a result of his loneliness are incredible and a favorite theme of mine - the deterioration of the human mind when confronted with unrelenting horror. Neville's ongoing challenge with the zombie who was once his neighbor and his obssession with the stray dog are both terrifying and poignant. What a great story.

My only complaint is that Matheson identified the vampires as not "true" vampires, but aberrations of nature, a new species. So why did he go through so much effort to give some biological and psychological explanations to why garlic, crosses, holy water and sunlight affected them? It didn't seem necessary. Typically, all a writer has to do is say (pardon the cliches) "the government burned chemicals and turned them into monsters" or "cosmic rays from a passing meteor raised the dead" and the reader is satisfied - HOW they became monsters is not as important as the fact that they ARE monsters. Matheson's long-winded, complicated explanations about psychosomaticism and blood diseases made it sound like he was trying to desperately sell me something I had already decided to buy.

Anyways, I'm nitpicking. I loved this book and the movie was certainly worth watching too - even if director Francis Lawrence wussed out on the ending.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim I agree with the biological explanations. I wasn't bothered by them, but they felt like a more of a justification for having a fascination with vampires, which no one should ever have to justify.

I thought the movie took a creative divergence from the novel while still nodding to the basic theme, but yes, the ending was definitely disappointing.


Cameron Yeah, movies, unfortunately, are kind of a slave to the American viewer - they tend to demand the fairy tale ending. :-/


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