notgettingenough 's Reviews > I Am Legend and Other Stories

I Am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson
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Apr 13, 10

bookshelves: science-fiction
Recommended for: Manny Rayner
Read from April 12 to 13, 2010

I must warn you, this book has The Omega Man all wrong. Anybody would think the author hadn't even seen the film. As somebody who loved the film, may I say the book's still bloody brilliant. I started it at lunchtime today and had to finish it.

I have no way of judging it as a vampire book, never having read one. Are Jewish vampires scared of the Cross? For all I know this is the sort of theological nicety vampire-book-readers fill their days with. It was all new to me.

Still, I wouldn't have described it as a 'vampire' book. It's a book about research. It's a book about what happens when the last man in the world finds the last dog. It's about perspective. It's about not getting enough.

And it's unputdownably exciting to boot.

I'm writing this comment from the perspective of somebody who loved 'The Omega Man'. There was an English version of it maybe 10 years ago, which was great too. Irritating, but great. Irritating because the thing has two endings, one after the credits. Well, we didn't know. We went home while they were still telling us no dogs where harmed in the making of the movie - well, of course not, given they were all undead in the first place. I'm sorry if this spoils watching it, but it turns out NOT knowing spoils it too...
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message 12: by Manny (last edited Apr 13, 2010 05:06AM) (new)

Manny Are Jewish vampires scared of the Cross?

Do you know, until this moment it had never even occurred to me to ask the question? I wish I hadn't given my copy of Twilight and Philosophy to Jordan before finishing it. The answer may well be in one of the later chapters...


message 11: by Marvin (last edited Apr 13, 2010 05:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marvin You might want to hunt down The Last Man on Earth from the early 60s with Vincent Price. It was the first film based on I am Legend and the one most loyal to the book. Yes, there's a dog.

Or Roman Polanski's Dance of The Vampire in which actor Roman Polanski presents a cross and the unfazed vampire in a deep Yiddish accent says "Have you got the wrong vampire!".


message 10: by Manny (new)

Manny The things you learn on Goodreads.

So what does work on Jewish vampires? A menorah? Actually, I must say that the thought of an Orthodox Jewish vampire hunter brandishing a menorah does seem irresistibly silly. Does that joke perhaps occur later in the same movie?


message 9: by Marvin (last edited Apr 13, 2010 05:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marvin No menorah. They drop the gag quickly, which is probably good. However, I would think a Star of David might do the trick.


message 8: by Manny (new)

Manny Well, I thought of that too, but surely a menorah is easier to brandish?


message 7: by Alan (new)

Alan I remember seeing Omega Man when it first came out - the bit where he watches Woodstock always sticks with me. I think it was a double bill with 'The Man with the X-Ray Eyes' in the local flea pit. They don't make em like that any more. Haven't seen either of them since (did see the Will Smith remake), but now I might rent them (if available) and have a nostalgic night, and even get choc ices for the interval.


notgettingenough Sigh. I've forced myself to look up Will Smith because I seem to be the only person in the world who hasn't heard of him. Okay. Now I have.

But this made me look for the English film I mentioned:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/28_Days_...

28 Days Later. I'm surprised to see that I'm the only person who saw it as a remake of The Omega Man.


Then again, the people making the Will Smith movie evidently were concerned at the similarities and went to some effort to distance itself from it.

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20052...

I find now that 28 Days later had lots of alternative endings, not just two! I rather like this idea.


Matthew Will Smith used to commemorate the release of his movies with a related song. Heinously awful songs in which the title of the movie is sung in the chorus ('Men In Black', 'Wild Wild West').

As bad as those were, the American people were spared an 'I Am Legend' song, as well as a 'Pursuit of Happiness' song. But those would have been the best yet.

People walked out of the theater when I saw '28 Days Later'. Excellent movie.


message 4: by Alan (new)

Alan Will Smith will be displeased to hear that someone hasn't heard of him. 28 Days Later is similar but a group survive don't they, rather than one or two isolated people. I've seen 28 Days later but don't remember the alternative endings, might have been too pissed/stoned or something. They've made a sequel (28 Months?) so surely only one of the alternatives made it..


message 3: by Rita (new)

Rita You do realise that this book, I am Legend, was written 17 years before Boris Sagal decided to make a movie out of it, right? Please say that you do!


notgettingenough R.B. wrote: "You do realise that this book, I am Legend, was written 17 years before Boris Sagal decided to make a movie out of it, right? Please say that you do!"

Yes, of course. It WAS supposed to be a joke in the review!! But it seems to have missed its mark. Sigh. I'm glad you got it!


message 1: by Rita (new)

Rita That's how it can go sometimes :-)


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