I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

A relentlessly paced psychological horror piece which dissects the vampire myth and pushes it swiftly through the apocalypse scenario. Many have called I Am Legend one of the masterpieces of Science Fiction writing and the story itself certainly warrants that consideration. Matheson builds Robert Neville’s world of isolation with ripe anger and guilt instead of bombed out mass destruction, an enviable decision which looks to be tossed to the wind for the upcoming Will Smith film remake. However, the idea often trumps the actual writing, making this a quick and fun read with plenty of pulp symbolism to mull over. Neville truly thinks he’s the last man on Earth, and his own ignorance toward the life cycle makes him a completely sympathetic and dimensional character. After losing a family and seeing Vampires take over the world, I think anyone would be consumed by their own situation and miss the forest for their own particular rotting tree.

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