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I Am Legend Mass Market Paperback – Oct 30 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 236 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (Oct. 30 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765357151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765357151
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 68 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 236 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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One of the most influential vampire novels of the 20th century, I Am Legend regularly appears on the "10 Best" lists of numerous critical studies of the horror genre. As Richard Matheson's third novel, it was first marketed as science fiction (for although written in 1954, the story takes place in a future 1976). A terrible plague has decimated the world, and those who were unfortunate enough to survive have been transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Except, that is, for Robert Neville. He alone appears to be immune to this disease, but the grim irony is that now he is the outsider. He is the legendary monster who must be destroyed because he is different from everyone else. Employing a stark, almost documentary style, Richard Matheson was one of the first writers to convince us that the undead can lurk in a local supermarket freezer as well as a remote Gothic castle. His influence on a generation of bestselling authors--including Stephen King and Dean Koontz--who first read him in their youth is, well, legendary. --Stanley Wiater --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Robert Neville has witnessed the end of the world. The world's population has been obliterated by a vampire virus, though Neville has somehow survived. As he toils to make sense of it all and protect himself against the hounding vampires who seek out his life force, Neville embarks on a series of projects to discover the source of the plague and hopefully put an end to the vampires. In a tale that plays with the slippery slope of sanity, Dean makes the perfect choice for a narrator. His powerful performance proves chilling and haunting. As Neville teeters on the edge of sanity, Dean manipulates his tone, speed, emphasis and projection accordingly, making listeners tremble with his narration. While some might rebuke his narration for being too dramatic or providing too much interpretation, Dean's intensity adds to the book in a way that benefits listeners over readers. The visceral nature of his performance evokes the image of a foamy-mouthed Dean growling at a microphone with spittle flying. A Tor paperback. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Please be aware that I Am Legend only comprises the first 170 pages of this edition. The publishers, riding the wave of the new movie of the same name, have filled the remainder with other Matheson short stories. They're great in their own right, but I wish the title was more representative of what was inside. Like any great story, I wanted I am Legend to never end.
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Format: Paperback
I am a huge horror fiction fan and lately I've been widening my collection to include older books (I usually read King, Laymon, Little, Lee, etc). So I picked up I am Legend b/c I've heard it is a classic vampire book. I can tell you I am not disapointed, this book was excellent and easy to read. I found it so interesting and fast paced I finished it in one day. The book is about Robert Neville, a man who had survived an epidemic that has turned everyone into vampires. He has barricaded himself in his house, venturing out in the daytime to get supplies and hunt vampires. The story is compelling as he struggles with his solitude and tries to figure out why people have changed and if there is a cure. This is a classic vampire novel and has earned a permenant place on my bookshelf!
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By A Customer on May 28 2004
Format: Paperback
This book, which is sadly short, is easily the second greatest vampire story written, behind Dracula of course.
Once i started reading I Am Legend i just could not put it down and finished it in one long sitting. It starts off superb and doesnt let up one bit. The ending also is beautiful, smart, and tragic. Truly original.
And what many people arent mentioning is that I Am Legend only takes up half of this book. The second half is a compilation of Matheson's short stories and are extremely entertaining also.
Buy this book. Now!
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By Mohawked Reviewer TOP 100 REVIEWER on Dec 13 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A somewhat atypical example of 1950s science fiction, or perhaps I'm just too accustomed to the rather pulpy and childish short story genre. Matheson's work is gritty, realistic, cynical and only slightly under-informed. The author paints a picture of post-apocalyptic life that is believable and makes it seem much more contemporary than it really is. The only real annoyance was the author's insistence in using the word 'germs' in place of bacteria. Doubtless this is a nod to his readership of the time but it left me rather perturbed and constantly in search of a red pen.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Most people are probably more familiar with the 2007 Will Smith movie I am Legend than the book of the same name that spawned it and numerous other adaptations. As is often the case with film/TV adaptations (looking at you, Game of Thrones) the story differs in major details from the source book. In the case of I am Legend (and Game of Thrones), the adaptations end up streamlining the story and suffering as a result. But let me start at the beginning.

Robert Neville, as far as he can tell, is the last man on Earth. Only a few months ago, a plague swept through civilization, infecting billions and turning them into bizarre vampire-like creatures. These creatures are sedentary during the day, but come out at night and hunger for human blood. Like most literary vampires, they also have various weaknesses such as garlic, light, and mirrors, which Neville exploits to survive in his apocalypse-hardened fortress of a house.

Neville spends his time maintaining his fortress-house, drinking, and killing vampires while they sleep during the day. Eventually, he tires of just killing vampires and decides also to start investigating the vampirism disease; his research progress is one of the truly fascinating parts of the novel. Of course, being the only human survivor also takes its toll on Neville. The loss of his family weighs especially heavy on him, and in his loneliness and drunkenness more than once considers giving up and leaving his fate to the vampires that surround his house at night. Later, Neville encounters another survivor, a young woman, but she may end up causing Neville even more grief—and danger.

Speaking more on the comparisons between the book and the film, I find that film isn't a great medium for stories of a solitary individual (see also Ender's Game).
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was surprised by just how different this book is from the movie adaptation. There are many, many aspects that differ. They basically only took the main concept from the book and ran with it.

I am a fan of the movie. While I haven't seen it in some time, I remember it being very good. The book is also good. However, if I were to compare the two, I would say I preferred the movie to the book. That's not saying that everything was better in the movie, but just overall.

I especially think that the movie was better in terms of the main character, Robert. In the movie, Robert has a ton of personality and adds humour to the story. You root for him, sympathize for him, and want him to survive. He is very likable. However, in the book, Robert is kind of plain and boring. I didn't find anything particularly likable about him. That's not to say that I didn't like him either. I was merely impartial to his character. This made for a disconnection for me to his story. While I was definitely interested in seeing where his story went, I didn't really care one way or the other if Robert survived.

The concept of the story is incredibly unique. I don't have much knowledge of how many vampire stories were out when this book was published, but since the story is still unique in the present time, that's saying a lot for just how one-of-a-kind this book truly is.

The story is also captivating and has twists and turns along the way. The world building is decent. Overall, I thought it was a good book.
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