I Am Legend • 1954 • Horror novel by Richard Matheson


I-Am-Legend--S-F--Masterworks--9780575119574_xxl.jpg (265×406)

Meta: isfdb. SF Master works #2. SF novel published in 1954.

I don’t read or watch horror at all, because I get bad dreams from them. This one is the corner stone of the zombie genre.

But this one is oh so short, which I like about those classic books: They don’t need 500 pages or more to develop the setting and end the plot.

The other thing that brought me to reading it was to commemorate Matheson, who died in June 2013.

What I found fascinating was the setup – only sparse dialogues, many self references and a main character Neville who fights his problems and sometimes succeeds but more often fails.

More than half of the book, Neville stays alone. Then the important twist with the dog which leads to his reaction to Ruth. I think Matheson crafted this central theme of character development very good.

The only problematic part that I see are his psychological and biological explanations. I don’t quite understand, why his vampires had to react to religious symbols at all – after all, he could have designed them in another way.
On the other hand, I ignore those parts because I think that they are not the main part of this novel.

Without that last objection, it would have been an awesome book and deserving 5 stars. But being as it is, I „only“ really liked it and give it 4 stars.
And I hope for a good sleep.

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