I had a nightmare about this book last night. Not fun.
In a world of monotonous horror there could be no salvation in wild dreaming.
Don’t make the mistake I did and walk into I am Legend expecting it to be anything like the film staring Will Smith. I know that as a general rule books and movies are different, yet I couldn’t get that image out of my head. Let’s just say the movie took some liberties. Now on to the Book Review.
As far as he knows, Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth. A world wide plague has struck the world turning humans into vampiric like species. Robert lost his entire family to the plague, and now he lives his life haunted and in extreme loneliness as he hunts vampires while simultaneously attempts to discover a cure for them.
The first half of the book caught my interest although its very scientific and well science is not my subject, so many of it went right over my head. The second half was much more philosophical, and had a little action. However, Robert spends the entirety of the book reflecting on his life leading up to the plague, alternating between monologues and flashbacks.
I feel for Robert I really do, he has lost everyone he cares about,and lives with an extreme loneliness that causes him to turn to whiskey every night. He tried to retain any semblance of humanity by constructing rules for himself and chastising himself when needed. Patience, he told himself. Get yourself at least one virtue, anyway
He is so starved for interaction from anyone even animals. That being said he did not grow on me as I suspected he would. I understood where he was coming from, but felt the execution of some of his ideas left a a lot to be desired. He came across as highly misogynistic and arrogant. I face palmed multiple times.
I think Robert Matheson writes in a way that really gets to you. I had a nightmare about this book! Although I didn’t care for the MC, I cared for the story, it’s haunting and riveting even though for the majority of the book there is only one character. He makes you think you know where the novel is going, then completely stirs you in another direction like that ending. (Did not see it playing out like that) Also, it’s important to keep in mind that I am Legend came out in 1954 before the mass influx of zombies and vampire dramas that play a huge role in our current pop culture, yet you can clearly see the parallels between this book and something like The Walking Dead.
Another fun fact, this book takes place in the suburbs of Los Angeles which is where I live, so I recognized certain streets and landmarks which earned nerd points with me!
Overall, I would recommend this, especially for those of you who enjoy horror.