Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Personally, I found I Am Legend to be one of those science-fiction novels that you didn't realize was really classified under science-fiction (Fahrenheit 451 and The Giver being similar examples). It's a post-apocalyptic setting with science-based vampires, yet what makes the book appealing is how Matheson makes you feel for the character and then gives you the surprise twist at the end. It's classic science-fiction in the sense that it doesn't necessarily have a happy ending and is more like a commentary on society (and makes me fear what the upcoming movie will be like). Personally, I found the book a bit dated, although the language was very readable. What's interesting about Matheson's protagonist is that he doesn't start out as a scientific genius, yet the role of figuring out what happened to the world is placed upon his shoulders. A nice read but personally, I read it for its historical significance in the genre.

Rating: 3.5/5.


Anonymous said...

I Am Legend is still one of my favorite books. I do think it aged relatively well considering the fact that it was written in the 50s and the science isn't TOO far off. It's not 100% correct but the prose itself has aged well. But you're right -- it is a significant novel; I don't think anyone can really dispute that. This is the book that inspired the entire freaking zombie movie genre.

I've always considered this more of a landmark novel for the horror genre though.

Charles said...

I Am Legend I think easily falls under both genres, that of science-fiction and horror. Stephen King also points out that Fahrenheit 451 is easily a horror novel too--perhaps not to a mainstream audience but certainly to book worms. =)

Ramin said...

Easily the best vampire novel ever written.