Friday, December 28, 2007

I Am Legend -- Richard Matheson

A guy I met at a World Fantasy Convention years ago told me that he bought every copy of this book that he ran across. I'm pretty much the same way, which explains why I have this SF Book Club edition.

I first read the book when it was published by Gold Medal, long, long ago. Hard to believe I was so young. Hard to believe, too, how much this novel impressed me. I've read it several times since then, and I continue to enjoy it.

You probably know the basic story, even if you haven't read it. As the result of a plague, Robert Neville is the last human on Earth, and he's surrounded by vampires. Every day he goes out to kill them. Every night they surround his house and taunt him.

I have no idea if the science in the book makes any sense. I didn't care 50 years ago, and I don't care now. What matters is that I still find the story powerful. I still get weepy during the episode with the dog.

I haven't seen the new movie version, and it'll be a while before I do, if, in fact, I ever do. But for me it was a pleasure to read the book again and to be caught up in the story.

8 comments:

Bruce said...

I'll save you the money Bill. They pretty much do The Omega Man ending. So unlike the book its not even funny with some truly awful cgi. With an added coda which is just moronic.

Bill I've got a BBC radio adaptation which is fantastic if interested.

I'd like to thank the person who posted the whole thing on youtube which sadly is now gone.

Ed Gorman said...

My ten year old granddaughter Shannon read it a while back and had the same experience I did when I first read it at thirteen--spellbound, dazzled, in the presence of a true masterpiece. I can't remember a novel that ever had the same impact on me as that one. And it never loses its power.

Ed

gomer said...

i read some review of the movie that said the dog was good. there was no mention of anyone or anything else. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

August West said...

Always was on my top-ten list for Sci-fi books. For some reason Hollywood could never get right...
What first attracted me to the novel years ago, was its first ed. (Gold Medal 417) Written on the cover "This may be the most terrifying novel you will ever read."-William Campbell Gault.
I'm a big Gault fan....and Matheson fan.

Anonymous said...

I just read the book too, Bill. We probably will see the movie because Jackie wants to (she hasn't read the book) but I'm not looking forward to the "happy" ending.


Jeff

resrvordog said...

Hey Bill -

Pete Enfantino is sure I'm the guy, although there must be more out there like me... I mean, I'm NOT legend... am I?

Here's my website with covers from around the world. The search for the remaining editions continues...

http://www.iamlegendarchive.com

John Scoleri

Bill Crider said...

You're the guy, John!

Juri said...

Oh, I just read the novel for the first time (it was recently translated in Finnish) and I was just amazed at just how marvellous it was at every turn.