7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
In the footsteps of the master,
This review is from: I Am Legend (S.F. Masterworks) (Paperback)
Bram Stoker took a similar 'scientific' approach to his vampire horror story. And he made a pretty good job of it, using the science and psychology theories that were fashionable at the time. Richard Matheson follows the master, setting his hero to hunt, not just for vampires, but for scientific answers to the problem of vampirism and, if possible, a cure. If you happen to know anything about biology, medicine, bacteriophages etc, there are parts of the book you will need to skip swiftly past in order to maintain your suspension of disbelief. But the science is not the main point of the story, so it's quite safe not to pay overly close attention to the more dodgy elements of Robert Neville's scientific discoveries about the vampires. Robert Neville is utterly alone in a world where creatures that look like humans torment him by night and he has to hunt them down by day. He dare not go far from his fortress home because he cannot be caught outside at night. As he finds and eliminates sleeping blood-suckers in his immediate neighbourhood, more pour in from surrounding areas. They skulk around his house. One of his old friends is out there too, calling for him to come out, reminding him of his old life. He stays indoors from dusk until dawn, drinking whiskey, growing his rage, dwelling on his losses, trying to understand what happened and why? He turns to scientific investigation as much to occupying his mind and avoid insanity as to find any real hope of solving the problem of vampirism. His anger, impotence and loneliness are pushed out of his mind by the pursuit of knowledge - answers to the how and the why. Fear and isolation can be forgotten while he's absorbed in his studies. But will he also forget how to be human and how to be humane?
Excellent story. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys horror stories and also to those fans of sci-fi who aren't too critical and demanding about the sci in their fi.