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Feb 10

I am Legend by Richard Matheson

I am Legend by Richard Matheson
“In a world of monotonous horror there could be no salvation in wild dreaming. Horror he had adjusted to. But monotony was the greater obstacle, and he realized it now, understood it at long last. And understanding it seemed to give him a sort of quiet peace, a sense of having spread all the cards on his mental table, examined them, and settled conclusively on the desired hand.”

I am legend

I am Legend is a short novel about a man named Robert Neville who seems to be the only survivor of an epidemic that swept Earth.  The plague that wiped out humanity not only killed them, but transformed them into a vampire like creature.  Neville lives each day in a fight for survival getting the materials that he needs to survive while killing these creatures that fall into a comma during daylight hours.  His only defense at night is to barricade himself into his home and protect it with the usual assortment of things that are supposed to keep vampires away garlic, crosses, and mirrors.  As the years go by Neville has to fight loneliness, depression, monotony, and of course vampires that are after him.

Throughout the book there are flashbacks that explain what life was like for Robert Neville leading up to and through the pandemic.  Richard Matheson does a wonderful job building the reader’s emotional bond with the character.  I felt for him during the flashbacks, and then reading how Neville is fighting for survival everyday not just physically but also the mental anguish he goes through makes the book a real page turner.  It is a well crafted book that makes good use of its limited pages.

I am not a huge fan of the horror genre, and was a little apprehensive about reading this book, but all that was put away after a few pages.  It reads so much more than just a horror story where survival is the game.  The character tries to find an answer to the vampire plague through scientific research and as the reader it was a pleasure to go along for the ride.  I also like how Richard Matheson starts to pose deeper questions like if they were a Jew or a Muslim before they became a vampire would they still be afraid of the cross or would they be afraid of their religious symbols the Torah or Koran.  Matheson tells the story about what would happen if the world was turned upside down by a plague and the human population is 99% vampire, what would happen to the only man left.  I give the book 4 shells out 5 just because the ending left me wanting something a little bit different and as a whole I wanted a little bit more than what was found in the 160 pages.
4 shells

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