Matheson's classic tale of the last man on earth's battle against plague-ridden...vampires? That's right, before Romero ever set hordes of zombies loose upon the silver screen, Matheson had already done it, albeit with vampires. While it can be enjoyed on the surface as an excellent horror-thriller, it is also a strong exploration of the concept of what it means to be human, issues of violence and race domination. A short, but highly rewarding read. One of my top 10 of all time. I wasn't overly fond of the narrator for this, but I'm pretty sure that's a matter of personal preference.
I changed my rating on this book from 4 stars to 5 because I have been continuing to think about this book for many months and not in a bad way. It is not super scary like in the movie, but it is about vampires or some kind of monster like that. I really like the ending of this book and that is why I have been thinking about it so much. I think Richard Matheson is making a social statement with the book and I totally agree with him. When our culture changes, some of us are left alone. I don't want to ruin the book for anyone, so I'll leave it at that. Read it. It is very good.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
And why is it better? Because it asks questions about what it means to be human that the movies choose to skip over. But to talk about what those questions are would be too much of a spoiler, so I'll just point out how much the current zombie craze owes to this book. From George Romero to The Walking Dead, this book anticipated and in some ways is still way ahead of them in exploring the possibilities. Here's the thing: not all of the night creatures in this book are inarticulate rotting zombies. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
I was very surprised with how thrilling and intense this book was. Not your typically vampire tale, this one really explores the emotional drain on our hero of simply being alone...the last person on earth. It's a great mixture of excitement, thrills, and emotion. I highly recommend this book!
And the narration was really superb.
Zombies Books in order: 1. We're Alive 2. Day By Day Armageddon 3. Roads Less Traveled Series 4. Alaskan Undead Apocalypse 5. World War Z 6. The Walking Dead 7. Rise Again 8. As the World Dies 9. Zombie Fallout
I'm into zombies not vampires. The book was written in the 50's so i thought it would be outdated. I liked the movie, but really thought the book must be very boring. A dude all by himself. Seemed a bit boring. I just pictured an artsy kind of book with a guy dealing with his internal struggle and alot of blah blah.
Well, it really is kinda all of the above, except boring. Its very interesting and I am sure if the book was written today it would definitely be with zombies, not vampires. There is some action too, so all is okay. I think it must have been redone too, I swear a date I heard was in the 1970's.
Narrator was pretty good with good inflection at the appropriate places, not seemingly randomly for no reason like some annoying narrators.
I did not like the end. It was a good ending. I don't want to give it away, but it was artsy. If you find artsy endings predictably similar you know what I mean (opposite of Hollywood endings).
If you like zombie stories I think this will satisfy you.
Im some guy in Oshkosh, WI that walks to work and has found the joy of listening to good books and values good narrators :).
My review isn't fair. The book was written in 1954 and as been adapted to film a couple of times. Its been influential in the development of the modern day zombie genre and has help form the foundation of the myths of vampires and all the cliches we've come to know and love about them. I had heard about the book for years and never picked it up. I thought maybe it was time that I gave some books that that were influential in the genres I enjoy some joy. But for me time didn't do the book any favors.
Neville is alone and lonely. The only friends and companions he makes he ends up killing or they try to kill him. He finds a dog and that helps him alleviate his loneliness but it eventually becomes infected and he has to kill it. Its terribly painful to listen to. For me the most unbelievable part of the story (and this is a book about vampires) is that with only a library and time you can become a geneticist and identify the cause of a virus.
If your very sensitive to the feelings of others be careful of this book. It does a very good job of making you feel terrible about Nevilles situation. Every time you get teased that theres a glimmer of hope for him, a light or some break in his pain your immediately hit over the head with a bat. When finished my overall feeling was one of depression and hopelessness. For me thats a big deal I don't subject myself to stories that leave me feeling like that. So follow this up with something lighthearted or funny maybe something by "David Sedaris".
The reader was fantastic.
No, this is my first one.
No, no extreme reaction.
This is NOT the Will Smith movie. People should know that going in. I thought it was and was a little confused at first, but this story is so much better than the Smith movie that I quickly just got absorbed in the story and forgot the film. A film of this book was made (1964 Vincent Price film "The Last Man on Earh" ) and it was wonderful. I liked the Will Smith film too but it is very different than this book.
Richard Matheson is a very unique literary voice. The way he developed a story with really only one character was amazing. The part about the dog is heartbreakingly sweet. The main character's struggle to survive and keep his sanity all at the same time was nail-biting in some places and inspiring in others. I highly recommend this audio book.
As with most books made into a movie, this book far surpasses the movie. There is so much fullness, depth and emotion to the book that could never come through in a movie. The narrator was fabulous, the story IS fabulous. The situation that leads to the end is far more complex than the movie.
This is not meant to be a slight on the movie, which I enjoyed very much. This book is a completely different experience...and one I much preferred.
I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, and horror the most. To improve, I read about language, psychology, spirituality, and art. I read about computer science and business for professional reasons.
A classic scary vampire novel. The novel focuses on a character who is surviving in a world overrun by vampires. The vampires are more like zombies than modern vampires, as they lack the intellect and sophistication bestowed in most vampire stories. The main character was portrayed as a nervous wreck, and the descriptions of him, his mental state, his situation, and more were very thorough and detailed.