Hello! Welcome to my little corner of the universe. Join me as I make my way through my infinite reading list one page at a time.
I Am Legend is a brilliant piece of vampire fiction. Richard Matheson packs 172 pages with horror, fear, loneliness, despair, anger, anguish, determination, and even a few brief moments of hopefulness. Though set in 1976, I was surprised to discover that this was written in 1954, as it felt like it could have been written yesterday.
Robert Neville is the last man on Earth, but he is not alone. The rest of the population (including some animals!) has been ravaged by an infection that turned them into vampires. By day the vampires remain hidden, and Neville is able to forage for supplies, reinforce his sanctuary, and kill as many sleeping vampires as he can find. But at night, Neville barricades himself inside as crowds of vampires surround his house, tossing rocks, trying to tear his house apart, taunting him, begging him to come outside with a constant barrage of "Come out, Neville!" Super duper creepy. I will admit to having nightmares the first night after reading this, convinced that every little bump in the night was a vampire lurking outside my window. I can't really say much more about the book without revealing too much about the plot, but I'll simply say that it's pretty brilliant, and if you enjoy good old-fashioned vampire/zombie stories, you'll enjoy I Am Legend. Please do yourself a favor and don't judge this book by it's movie (the Will Smith version at least), which has little in common with the original story other than the title.
My final comment has nothing to do with the actual story I Am Legend, and is more an issue with the publisher, but it effected my enjoyment of the story in a big way. The ending was so abrupt, it felt like a punch to the gut. One minute I'm on page 162 and thinking to myself "Oh yeah, now the shit has hit the fan!" and then by page 172 it was over, yet I still had half a book left to read. Neither the cover nor the summary give any indication that this is in fact a collection of short stories, so when I read that final line and realized the party was over, I was super disappointed, much like getting fooled by what you think is a few more chapters of a book, when in reality it's only a preview for the next book. Bummer, man!