Monday, 24 February 2014

Links for the next meeting - I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Wikipedia is good on the themes and influence of the book, including 3 adaptations:

The Last Man on Earth

The Omega Man

I Am Legend

I Am Omega

A 30 minute discussion of the book on the excellent Science Fiction Book Review Podcast

A four star review on Amazon

"The Millenennium SF series is a bit of mixed bag of so called 'classic' and seminal sci-fi of the 20th century. 'I Am Legend' rightly deserves it's place in that list but not necessarily as a sci-fi novel. But it's a bit of a curate's egg. In fact it's not even a horror novel per se. There's a blend of sci-fi, post-apocalyptical musings ( more so in the movie based loosely on the book), some horror of course. But this novella is more a psychological examination of what it's like to be the last man alive. Matheson is an expert at leading us into the mind of a man without the companionship of his fellows. I won't spoil the plot as there are some brilliant and unexpected twists but the chapters concerned with Neville's discovery of a dog, company he has craved for for three years, is stunning and I defy anyone not to be moved to tears. I love the film, which is why I bought the book initially, but after reading it I'm afraid Heston et al missed out on a better adaptation. Near perfect."

 & a two star review

"I Am Legend isn't really all that an impressive horror story nor a good sci-fi. The story-line was okay, the descriptive writing fair but it lacked something which I can't really put my fingers on. I've read a lot of horror and sci-fis (they're the only things I read), but this book is somewhat bland. I've only put the book down last night and already I've forgotten all the stories in it. So I guess it wasn't that worthy of remembering. As for the rest of the short stories.....well, they were also so-so. Maybe it's me, maybe I didn't picture the hard enough as I followed it through, maybe I didn't really understand what Richard Matheson was trying to write about. I don't know. I'm not impressed and a little disappointed that I found this book weary against the others who've reviewed it and have given it 5 stars."