©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)
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.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
Of course this is not at all like the latest movie rendition...its MUCH BETTER! This is a true 1950's vampire novel, not a story about boring zombie like creatures. Full of drama, scientific information, suspense and intrigue make this worth a listen!
I'm not usually a fiction fan - especialy sc-fi but I downloaded this one because I wanted to see the new movie and knew I wouldn't be able to catch it while in the theaters. Fortunately this was quite interesting and I found myself looking for excuses. The naration is a bit overdone at times but well done on the whole. Enjoy!
My 13 yo son and I have been enthralled by the story. What would you do if you were the last person on the planet? How would you react? How long would the alcohol last? The style is gripping, the pictures painted in your mind are vivid. It brings back memories of listening to the old radio shows with my dad (via CD and tape). This was so much better than the current movie.
Not only is this the best audio book I've ever listened to, its the best novel I've ever read. The narration and sound quality was incredible.
I'm laying here in my bed staring at the ceiling as the last paragraph of the book spills out and the full horror of the its reality is revealed. Stupefying.
Poet, Writer, Novice Planetary Scientist, Musician, Hooligan, Former Audience Guy, Protector of Stupid Princesses.
Being a fan of the movie, "The Omega Man," I finally got around to reading "I am Legend." I enjoyed the story very much. I was surprised that it was a "vampire" story as well as a post -apocalypse tale. Now I am even more interested in what Hollywood and Will Smith come up with for the new movie adaptation being released in December 2007. I think that Robert Neville is probably one of the most memorable characters in Science Fiction. The narration is excellent.
I'd seen the movie version with Will Smith, so naturally I wanted to read the book but since my eye surgery I can't read so well so I gave the audio book a try. While it isn't exactly like the movie, it is still just as compelling and just as interesting. The movie took a lot from the book but I have to say I think I like the book just as much. Its's a different kind of story but no less interesting.
I was ready for this book to end about halfway through. It's a pointless tale with very little context behind what made society the way it is in the book. The narrator is overly dramatic to the point where it's almost weird. I'm glad this was only $5.
Shiloh Bound Doc! University of Iowa graduate. Iowa Writer's Workshop fan. Hawkeye Fan! Believer. Husband. Father. Physician.
This book was written in 1954 and although as a physician I would have a few "corrections" to the microbiology descriptions -- it would be remarkably few. Astounding for a work written over 60 years ago!! I read this book because an Audible reviewer mentioned it in his review of another science fiction book as one of his favorite and "best" all time Si-Fi reads. I was not disappointed. Whether you trend to sci-fi, fantasy, zombies, or apocalyptic future history --- I recommend this read . . . 😱
"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.
Report Inappropriate Content