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He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson Hardcover – 14 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 351 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (14 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765326132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765326133
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,007,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By David Nash on 23 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
I liked some stories more than others, and there was one story that I didn't like at all, but the book is good. Worth reading. Plus it has a story written by Joe Hill and Stephen King together. Can't argue with that!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Fair Representation of Matheson's Great Stories! 3 Oct. 2011
By Critic's Corner - Published on Amazon.com
I picked up "He is Legend" because I've always been a great admirer of Richard Matheson mainly through his film and television scripts and adaptations, some of the more famous being "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (Twilight Zone) and "The Incredible Shrinking Man". As well, the most interesting being his story "I Am Legend" from which the Vincent Price film "Last Man on Earth" was filmed from (and of course more recently, "I Am Legend" the film with star Will Smith).

Anyway, this book is a different take on Matheson's story - all these authors base their stories on a Richard Matheson story, either writing a sequel or adding more info to the tale.

Some of these work and some don't!

I won't bore the reader with every single synopsis of each story. There are 15 stories here from various authors, notably Richard's son, and a collaboration with Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill, a pretty amazing horror writer in his own right.

Stories:

Most of these stories are written from Matheson stories from the 1950s and 1960s, adapted for modern audiences. I was most impressed with only a few:

"Return to Hell House" is the most graphic, with harsh language and some fairly obscene sex scenes. This is a "prequel" to Matheson's story where a group of psychics and scientists stay at this house and a malevolent spirit clearly shows them the way to hell. As I say, graphic writing that will literally haunt your thoughts!

"Throttle" is a take on Matheson's story "Duel" (you may have seen the film version with Dennis Hopper - first film directed by Stephen Spielberg!) about a truck driver with a murderous thirst for killing people on the road. A father and son are the head of a bike gang and we find out all kinds of things about them - and as they head to Vegas, a trucker starts bumping off the bikers - and the driver's identity is quite a shock! Stephen King and Joe Hill do a great job here in building suspense and tension.

"The Diary of Louise Carrey" by Thomas F. Monteleone is the story of "The Incredible Shrinking Man" from the view of the wife of the shrinking man! From reading the original story and seeing the 1950s film, I can see where she is coming from. A distasteful sex scene is the only thing I didn't like about this story, but it certainly paints the wife as an unsympathetic loser.

Bottom Line: Most of the stories are a fair read, but the three above really hit me one way or the other, thanks to the quick pacing of plot and the great homage to writer Richard Matheson. But please, read the originals first. You'll enjoy these adaptations more if you do.

I Much Prefer:

The Incredible Shrinking Man
I Am Legend & Hell House
Nightmare At 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories By Richard Matheson
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
About time Matheson got recognized! 16 Oct. 2010
By F. Stepnowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I started teaching "I Am Legend" to my students (all reluctant readers) over 10 years ago, and every kid that's ever read it loved it, so much so that they almost always beg me to read more of Matheson's stories after we finish "Legend." Richard Matheson is one of the true great American authors that never, in my opinion, gets proper credit [despite having had many of his stories translated to film: "Stir of Echoes, What Dreams May Come, I Am Legend, etc.] This is an interesting tribute to the master; some of the stories are re-imaginings of Matheson works, some are inspired by the originals, all are worth you time. (And I'll be teaching the "Legend" prequel this year for sure!)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Meh.... 14 Feb. 2011
By Scott M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I ordered this book recently through Amazon because, along with Stephen King, Shirley Jackson and Ambrose Bierce, Richard Matheson is one of my favorite writers. I usually enjoy these types of tribute books, when writers are asked to write stories in a universe created by Matheson. Because Richard has no universe, per say, I liked the concept Conlon did: write stories to a particular Matheson story or novel either as a prequel, a sequel or a blurred version of the story.

Sadly, few writers did so. That was the biggest disappointment, that many of the authors - many GOOD authors - seemed to be on Ambian when they wrote their stories, moving at half-speed, sleep-walking through the process. Only two stories really shined: the first (and the book's first featured story) is "influenced" by Matheson's "Duel" - a novella by Stephen King and his son, horror writer Joe Hill. It's easily the best story in the bunch and probably, if you're a King fan like me, worth the price of the book itself.

The other story is a prequel to my favorite Matheson novel, the scary haunted house story "Hell House." Here, Nancy Collins tackles about the first group who dared enter Hell House, only briefly touched upon in Matheson's novel. Here, we find out what happened.

If even half of the other dozen or so writers had been a bit... more inspired, this would have been a strong collection. Sadly, with the exception of the two book-end stories, the rest of the stories in this book are a bit... meh.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Solid Mathesonian Tribute 24 Mar. 2011
By Jeffrey Swystun - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Richard Matheson is a bit of an enigma. His influence is profound and wide, yet, he remains known only to the relative few. Steven King would not be the prolific success he is without Matheson blazing a trail, many movies we have enjoyed have come from his pen but not accrued to his fame, and countless storywriters' inspiration would be dimmed without having read his many works. So it was with great pleasure that I read and enjoyed this "all-new collection of original stories set in Matheson's fictional universes". King and son, Joe Hill, kick it off with an homage to "Duel" which is high adrenalin fun. Other strong ones include: Recalled which picks up on the neighborhood nuisance brought to life in Matheson's "The Distributor"; Comeback inspired by "The Finishing Touches"; and Return to Hell House by Nancy A. Collins. Thrilling and chilling stuff on its own or read as a companion to the original works.
Loved it! 12 May 2014
By Julian David Stone - Published on Amazon.com
Fantastic idea for a book, and fantastically realized! Super fun to read sequels or variations on stories I've loved for years.
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