©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)
This was a masterful reading of the story. The narrator really brought out the main character's despair at his situation. I haven't seen any of the movie versions, but I'm familiar with the basic story. I'm glad I heard it in this version first!
Never seeing the movie, I thought this book was an excellent read, very fast and kept me interested from start to finish. Narrator did a great job. Look forward to reading more from this author.
I was going to see the movie, but decided to get the book instead. As usual, I'm happy I did so. The narration of this book really sets the mood for the story. The story is believable enough for a zombie book and avoids the cliche moments found in so many other zombie flicks/stories. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys the horror genre.
This was a great book, the narrator really added to the story emotionally and the descriptions of the author were good. I don't normally go for horror type stories, but this kept my attention.
Me and a co-worker listened to this book while working and couldn't stop. The narrator really kept us enthralled. We can't wait to get to work tomorrow to finish it.
I have to say this is one of the better books I have heard on Audible. I read it after hearing about the new movie and now I am not sure I can see the movie in case it doesn't do the book justice. The twist the end of the book makes is completely unseen (Very few foreshadowing to identify the twist). A new twist on the vampire that I don't think I have ever seen a book take. Considering the date this book was written I am surprised it wasn't considered more of a classic.
Wow! I thought this story was great. What would you do if you were the last living human on earth? Or at least human in the form we know it. How would a person stay sane? Find out how Robert Neville does just that in this well told and well narrarated story of lonliness, loss, and total devastation.
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.
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"Great story, ok narration, neurotic character"
It's a good story and it kept me going to the end. It is however, and this may or may not be a good thing - depending on what you hoped to get out of the book, not much like the film.
From a purely character point of view this feels a lot like the Bourne Identity (see my review of that title). The main character is effectively alone and his reaction is probably realistic, however the way he comes across is rather neurotic and, at times, irritating.
It felt like a lot of time was spent with him drinking away his frustrations and ruminating on his situation, and not much character development seemed to be occurring.
There were a couple of plot areas that stretched the point and caused my suspension of disbelief to stop - his developing an expertise in virology/cellular biology for example. However this is possibly me being overly critical in my review.
If you enjoyed the film and are interested in the inspiration or source of the story, then you will enjoy this. If you are looking for a audio version of the film, this isn't it.
"Not much happens..."
Having seen this on the top of a popularity list, I thought it be worth trying but whilst the writing is good and very convincing, you could sum up the story in about one sentence (which I won't of course). The plot could have been covered off in a short story. Disappointing.
"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.
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