©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)
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.
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.
I really enjoyed this book. Both when I read it and when I listened to it. I would definately recommend it to a friend.
He can be a little dry and unemotional. But that probably makes him perfect for this story considering the main character is a little dry and burnt out.
Not become a vampire.
I loved this book, but I wish the second half of the book was included in the audible version. I kept thinking I didn't download it correctly or that my ipod was malfunctioning. What's the deal Audible?
"A strange and warming paranoid schizoid tale"
Different to the film
It grows on you
Wasn't sure about it at first but enjoyed it and some years later came back and listened to it again with, surprisingly, better results, hence the review. I would say its a mood dependent kinda story but worth having in your library and written by a master of the genre.
Defiantly no Will Smith
"It was a bit of a fight to get through this one."
This is a gripping and well told story but is unremittingly bleak. The book starts with the hero, Robert Neville, already well into the events that have unfolded after a vampire plague has taken over the world. The characterization is very good but I found it hard to empathize with the hero because you only get brief glimpses at what he was like before these catastrophic events turned him into the half crazed and hardened person, which he is at the start of the book. My main problem with the plot is that it had so few glimmers of hope in it, this made the story somewhat predictable and hard work to listen to.If on the other hand you like your fiction dark, this would be a great novel for you.
The narrator did a brilliant job at projecting the thoughts of a man falling apart to the listener. He has a pleasant voice to listen to and is great at conveying the tension of the story.
Overall I'm glad I bought this book but it's not one I'll come back too again and again, like many of the others in my library.
"Don't expect Will Smith."
Firstly this was nothing like the Will Smith film. The only thing they have in common is the title and the name of the leading character. I quite liked the film and the book is just as good if not better.
Really liked the ending too, won't spoil it for anyone but like I said bears no resemblance to the film.
It was, it's not too long as well. Unfortunately I don't have the time to listen to it in one sitting.
Modern classic, download it you won't be disappointed.
"Nothing like the movie, in a good way"
I remained engaged throughout. Impressive for a story largely comprising of one character.
I definitely needed a break at times as it was really quite depressing, although it was intended to be.
This book highlights the darker side of long term isolation, and questions one-sided moral decisions.
"A Must Read"
>It's nothing like the movie. Alright, having taken care of that, here is what I have to say<
This book was incredible, the story and the way that the main character's thoughts and feelings are presented are just amazing.
I was very worried about the vampire cliche, but you know what.. the writer added a twist and much more depth into it, making it fit like a latex glove (there is a disturbing image for you, complements of the house).
Jokes aside the only negative point of this book is its length, you just want more and are really sad to know that the end might be near.
The narration is superb, the best one yet in my narrow experience. Nice work Mr.Robertson!
I will not say one more word on this master piece as I don't want to inadvertently spoil something, just trust my words, get it now and you'll thank me later.
Firstly, if you've seen the film, forget all about it. The book is as similar to the film as driving a car is to roller skating. With all of that said, the book is very good. It's a little slow to start but quickly picks up pace. The narrator does an excellent job of conveying the tension and emotion right to the end. Well worth the download
"Really enjoyed it"
So much better than the film, the main character has a hint of madness we can all suffer from under such circumstances we may find ourselves
"A must listen"
This is an excellent book, I agree with the points made by pretty much everyone else! I almost liked this more because of the film link, I thought I knew roughly what I was getting and so was surprised and delighted with the actual story. I loved the voice actor, very appropriate, and the story had a good pace, brilliant twists and the ending is fantastic.
"Not to be confused with "Twilight"..."
I was not expecting this!!! Despite the explosion of vampire novels in the last couple of years I have managed, on the whole, to avoid this genre. I had heard of the movie and had seen the images of Will Smith and a dog trudging through a ruined landscape. Hard to believe this was written in 1954, but according to Amazon it has been frequently on the Horror best sellers list, no wonder... what a thriller of a story. I have not been able to fall asleep for the last couple of nights (audiobooks in bed usually send me out like a light). The moral of the tale, revealed in the last minutes is one to rival George Orwell. Well narrated and well worth the listen.
"Tense and moving"
Richard Matheson is a brilliant writer of science fiction and horror, this book is a true testament to his art. It is tense, it is scary, it is sad, it is moving and it is shocking. The 'twist' or revelation in amazing. Thoroughly recommend this book, you will have shivers on your arm as you listen.
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