Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Review: I Am Legend

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Myself and other members of The Collective are reading I Am Legend. We will have a book discussion and watch the movie version with Will Smith. We decided we will have apocalyptic snacks. I don't know what that means yet.

I've decided that Richard Matheson is brilliant. I Am Legend is a very accessible, creepy and fascinating read. The germ in the story turns people into vampires, not zombies. Since it was originally published in 1954, it's interesting to think that Matheson directly inspired a whole slew of apocalyptic vampire films. I loved it. And I love the movie version, even though it's very different. One of the great things about it: since it was written in the fifties, it has the feel of the old school sci-fi that I love, but it functions very well as a horror story as well.

The newly published movie tie-in comes with ten extra short stories by Matheson, including Prey, a story that was used in 1975 in a TV movie called Trilogy of Terror with Karen Black. So I saw this movie as a kid and I still think about about it a couple of times a month. It was traumatizing, like Jaws. I started reading Prey and had this sudden vague flashback of fear. "This is that movie!" I thought. And as I read more about Matheson and his work, I realized that he has had a huge influence on my taste in sci-fi and horror. Thanks, Richard!

I Am Legend: warning on some language and some disturbing imagery, but highly recommended.

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