©1954, 1982 by Richard Matheson; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"One of the ten all-time best novels of vampirism." (Fangoria)
"The most clever and riveting vampire novel since Dracula." (Dean Koontz)
"I think the author who influenced me most as a writer was Richard Matheson. Books like I Am Legend were an inspiration to me." (Stephen King)
I have listened to this story in the region of 30 times so far and I still find angles in the psychology of the main character that I had never considered before. A true masterpiece and one that would have made a much better film than the hollywood mangled version.
This is an excellent audible book a real thriller and not in a gross way. The reader is terrific and draws you into the story. I bought it because I had seen the movie with Will Smith but as always the book is so different then the movie - the book is better then the movie. Love it!
If you understand that this book was written in the 50's and you understand that time and how people thought, it's pretty interesting. It has some major low spots that are boring, but the story itself and the thoughts it provokes are good. It's different than anything I have read. It's not amazing but it was worth the $5 I paid for it when it was on sale.
Now on the pretense that I've not seen Omega Man, but I have seen I Am Legend the movie and enjoyed it; this book made me wish they'd have actually followed it in the most recent iteration. I was amazed, yet pleased, at the differences. The ending I still wasn't satisfied with, only because I wanted More!, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make sense and complete this story in a nice little package.
If you have any interest, and definitely if you like I Am Legend the movie, I believe you will enjoy this deeper descent into Robert Neville's madness and enjoy the true story of why He Is Legend.
Although sometimes a little slow, this book wraps up beautifully. Towards the end I couldn't figure out where it was headed, but oh man when it gets there it is totally worth the trip. One of the best stories I have listened too, since Across the Nightingale Floor. Buy it and enjoy!
At first when I started listening (I have the audio version), I kept comparing it to the movie and thinking the movie was better. But as it went along my opinion totally changed. This was way better than the movie. No overdone messiah figure, no maudlin "a boy and his dog" with echoes of Old Yeller. Now that being said, there were parts I didn't like. The anger spells were just cheesy and poorly written IMHO. Also it is unbelievable that without any prior training and no one to assist him, this one guy came up with all this science. I don't buy it.
Now one reason why the book was better than the movie, is that the book actually makes sense out of the title which is the whole theme of the book. The movie absolutely didn't, and I left the movie wondering why the heck it was called that (call me sheltered but I didn't even know there was a book). It made no sense.
I don't even think the movie should have been called the same name--it radically departed from the story. Radically. It was at best derivative. Though the Fresh Prince's acting was, as usual, stellar.
One more reason not to like the movie. THEY SMASHED A GORGEOUS MAC PRO!! So while the protagonist was killing his dog, I was like, "Forget the dog, look what happened to the Mac!"
The reader for this novel did a fantastic performance representing Robert Neville. I could feel the intensity in all his thoughts and feelings. I loved the story and why, at the end, he can say "I am legend."
I have watched the original 1964 movie starring Vincent Price as Robert Neville, as well as watching Will Smith play same. It seems to me that the original 1964 movie (Titled "Last Man on Earth" written by Richard Matheson) follows the book more accurate then the movie "I am Legend" w/Will Smith.
The Movie w/Will Smith was made more for the audience of today, as was the original "Last Man on Earth" in 1964. Vincent Price gave (as usual) an outstanding performance in the movie, as did Will Smith, but judging the book to the 2007 movie and giving it a poor rating is not fair to either the book nor the movie. As for the Narrator, he did his best to act the characters of the book, usually men with deep voices find it difficult to do a feminine voice.
As I titled this listen w/an open mind and try not to compare (especially with the 2007 movie), both were very good in their own rights, give credit where credit is due. I too have judged a "remake" to the original until I set my mind to understand that the 2nd movie was a stand alone movie, not one intended to be an actual remake but another persons vision of the same script using current technology to try and better the movie goers experience.
I listen to the books in the car to/from work - I could not wait each day to get into the car to listen and found myself driving slower to hear more... the narrator is fantastic, the book is, well, legendary....
Although it's a bit dated at this point (at least in terms of technology), the story is still excellent and well-worth the time.
"Maybe the grimmest ending of any book"
If the only version of "I am Legend" you have heard of is the Will "Fresh Prince" Smith film version you are in for a treat. This is the book that, to my mind, created the modern vampire/zombie genre of horror. It is not a big, action fuelled story but a grim story played out on a human level by a very ordinary and at times quite unlikeable protagonist. Robert Neville is no superhero but an ordinary man who happens to be immune to the virus that has turned the rest of the world into zombie-like creatues. The action takes place in Neville's dull suburban street and the first section of the book details his daily routine and his struggle to maintain his sanity. The later plot develops a romantic theme and the final third of the novel dips a little but the ending is, quite simply, stunning.
This audiobook version is very good, the reader/actor captures some of Neville's grimness and despair and the pacing is excellent. I thoroughly recommed this, I've bought print copies for several of my friends.
I listened to this book after watching the film as I was intrigued by the story and guessed that there would be more to a book than the film. But wow, was I wrong, the book and film could really be two completely different stories, but with the same concept. The book is brilliantly written and takes place in 1950's America. The naration is lovely, almost radio like, which adds to the ambience of the story, its dramatic and scary and takes up speed along the way. The ending is most unexpected, but fits more in with the story book than the film. I don't want to give much of the story away in my review in fear of putting the reader off because of the vast differences between film and book, but suffice to say, it is worth reading and I promise you will enjoy every word of it. If you haven't seen the film already, listen to the book first.
"Excellent first listen"
This is the first book I have ever listened to and have to say it was absolutely spellbinding. Gripping, tense and thought provoking I loved every single minute of the 5 hour listening time. Good choice of narrator too.
"A Classic - not to be ignored"
A classic book that is nothing like the film – but in a good way
Story – 5/5
This story is an absolute masterpiece, and a classic that all fantasy/zombie apocalypse fans should read. At first, it seems to combine what we stereotype zombies and vampires to be, but it then moves more towards them being vampires.
I Am Legend is split into two, the first part being about how Robert Neville fights the psychological impacts of solitude, the second part about the evolution of the germ/vampires. Both parts are told brilliantly, and I was not expecting the second half/ending at all, making it that extra bit special.
The prose is easy and smooth, and his characterisation of Robert Neville is superb. He is extremely believable; he makes mistakes, he is not a genius scientist overnight – he needs to learn from scratch, and he not a created as a hero typical of Hollywood film adaptations. We follow him carefully through sadness, anger and frustration. One part especially brought a lump to my throat (you will know which part when you listen to/read it).
There is a reason this has stood the test of time. As it is cheap on audible, do what I did and wait for a sale rather than use up a more expensive credit. It is a bargain that you will not regret.
Performance – 3/5
Robertson Dean is a good narrator – he portrayed the dark and hopeless tone of the story fantastically. There was only a small amount of voice acting needed, but all was done well. Although he was fine for the 5hrs of this book, I am not sure I could listen to him for much longer, as he can sound a bit dull when he was narrating, but this may have just been his approach to this type of story.
I did have a problem with the production of this though. As I listen to audiobooks while driving on the motorway, the road noise can be loud. Quite often, the volume went from loud to quiet for a minute and then back to loud again. This meant I needed to alter the volume regularly to hear it. If you are listening in a quiet environment, you probably won’t have the same issue.
Overall – 4/5
A fantastically written book that offers the reader a delve into a character that is so well formed that you understand him, and his struggle brilliantly. If you enjoyed the film, then download this, but take note; this is MUCH better than the film, which essentially misses the whole point of the book!
Great book, well worth a read.
"A classic vamp tale or is it?"
This was a very good listen, in turns, thoughtful, sad, gripping and poignant. Robert Neville's isolated struggle to survive against the odds certainly held my attention to the bitter end. Much much better than the film which messes around with the brilliantly thought provoking ending and the meeting of a certain character(I can't imagine why they changed it) which stakes the tale together so well (sorry about the pun, but too tempting)
You wouldn't be dissapointed with this if you like horror, vampires, and even a small dose of science. Well read too by Robertson Dean, a shame when it ended, but it does end so well.
"Dark, grim classic sci-fi"
Filmed twice, (The Omega Man with Charlton Heston in the '70s, and I Am Legend with Will Smith a few years ago), this is a classic sci-fi tale by the man who also wrote The Duel. This recording has been used in an abridged form on Radio Four Extra recently. It is very effectively read and is a dark, claustrophobic story. I found it absorbing and compelling. If you like high quality science fiction without slash and gore, then this is for you.
"Genuinely grippping horror"
I really enjoyed this book; the tension grips you round the throat from the start, and never lets up. A rightly famous story. I haven't seen the movie version but it would be difficult to better the book.
I docked a star as I wasn't too taken with the narrator, but I'ld still strongly recommend the book.
"So Scary, So Scary"
This book is like a vampiristic version of the fallout games, except without factions. Robert Neville is a guy who has actual moral dilemmas, from a book like this you would expect a muscly guy who has no thoughts whatsoever and kills vampires with his bare fists but we get an ex-soldier who has lost his family and keeps wanting to give in to the cries at night. The whole society of vampires thing is really imaginative and the living/dead vampires thing is really astounding. I would recommend this book to anyone with the guts to handle gory descriptive writing and not a habit to often look at covers
"An interesting tale of one man his vampire friend"
This book explains enough of the science and history of vampires make them to seem plausible, while at the same time, not trying to explain so much that it became unrealistic or the book feeling preachy. You follow main characters research on what a vampire is and how they came to be and still are.
I saw the movie of the same name before going through this book. The film bears very little resemblance to the book, and suffers because of it.
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