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I Am Legend I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I didn't expect much from the book that inspired George Romero to make Night of the Living Dead (I am not a fan of zombies), but I was pleasantly surprised. Published in 1954, I Am Legend had a huge influence on the modern vampire and zombie horror genres. The story focuses exclusively on the activities and inner dialogue of a man who believes he is the last survivor of a plague that infected all other humans with a zombie-ish form of vampirism. The book is well written and doesn't pull any punches. The survivalism/vampire trope is basically an excuse to explore human emotion in all its variety.

Trivia note: Richard Matheson also wrote the Star Trek:TOS first-season episode "The Enemy Within."

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
xiphias
Jul. 14th, 2009 09:47 am (UTC)
I have to read that at some time, but it's one of those works like Psycho or The Sixth Sense where I already KNOW the twist before I've ever seen it.

It seems to me that a vampire story is about a small number of monsters preying on a large group of innocents/victims, while a zombie story is about a large number of monsters preying on a small group of innocents/victims.

And that I Am Legend is the story of a man who thinks he's the hero of a zombie story, but discovers that he's actually the villian in a vampire story.
epi_lj
Jul. 14th, 2009 12:46 pm (UTC)
I'v been meaning to read that ever since I saw the Will Smith movie.
firecat
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
I am told it's very different from the Will Smith movie. See other comments for other movies based on the book.
epi_lj
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
I think that's one of the reasons that I want to read it, though; to see where the differences were. Often when I know a movie is based on a book that I haven't read and there are certain parts that I find better than others or I find it in some way controversial, it makes me wonder how the book treated those issues, or what parts came from the book and what parts were original.
firecat
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
I have the same urge when I see a movie without having read the associated book.
(Deleted comment)
firecat
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
That sounds like it might be more worth watching than Night of the Living Dead.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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