Here it is!
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been thinking about this story ever since I saw the movie several months ago. I was very hesitant to read the book because I was afraid it would be too graphic, or too scary. Well, it is a scary story, and not because of the vampires, but because it's about a vampirism plague that wipes humanity out of the face of the earth. The main character, Robert Neville, lost both his wife and daughter to the pandemic. I think the scary part for me was imagining I was in his place, knowing that I couldn't protect my children if they were infected, that nothing I did would save them. For this reason I think the book is scarier and sadder than the movie. Even though I tried to picture the character as the author describes him in his book (German-English descent), I kept seeing Will Smith in mind. Will Smith made a terrific Neville in the movie; he really conveyed the suffering and anguish Matheson describes in the book.
The writing is very well done, descriptive, not too harsh or graphic. There's not vulgarity either, so that was a plus. I was worried at first that the language would be bad. I recommend this book, especially during Halloween time, and also if you want to read about a person's determination to live even when there's apparently nothing to live for.
This copy I borrowed from the library contains other stories by Matheson. They are all suspenseful and/or scary. There is one story, "Prey", that I was familiar with. When I was a young girl I saw a film version of it, and it's one of the many reasons I'm still afraid of ethnic dolls or wooden carvings of people. you read it and you'll know why.
When I read "Prey" I realized Matheson's stories are well known, but his name is not--at least in my case, I hadn't heard of him before I am Legend came out as a movie.
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