Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
Tense psychological horror. Excellent read.
on 20 July 2015
My first experience with I am Legend came from the luke warm Will Smith movie, despite being an avid reader I wasn't aware that it was even originally a novel until a friend pointed it out to me and thankfully it is much more enjoyable. The book revolves around a man named Robert Neville, he's no hero, soldier or scientist, just a regular guy, he's only special because he seems to be the last human being alive after a disease has turned everyone else into some kind of vampire. Robert survives by taking advantage of the day/night cycle a vampire lives by while boarding up and barricading his house using garlic to keep them out.
I have seen this book labled as Horror/Sci-fi but I would throw a good dose of psychology in there too. Robert's loneliness and Isolation having no companion or even anyone to talk to drive him to the brink at times. The despair, paranoia, anger and monotony of life cause him to sometimes give up, other times they seem to be what keep him going. This book isn't so much about vampires but being locked in Robert's house with him. Robert isn't necessarily a likeable protagonist, some of his thoughts get especially dark but he is a survivor and the book covers a few years as he struggles to keep his hummanity and his mind by attempting to research what the cause of the vampyrism is without really knowing what he is doing.
It works very well as Robert is the sole focus of the book it allows Matheson to really delve into his psyche as well as use flashbacks at times to build on how the world came to be quite how it is. The first half sets up how Robert survives, Matheson manages to make mundane things surprisingly interesting while the second half sees Robert having really accepted his fate, living almost emotionlessly in routine. I especially liked the ending, a rather clever final couple of chapters, a perspective shift if you will which ties things up rather nicely.
The film bears little resemblence to the excellent book, I highly recommend people to give this a try.
+ You can really feel Neville's isolation and loneliness.
+ Good build up of suspense.
+ Dark yet engrossing.
+ Neville is splendidly written.