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I Am Legend | [Richard Matheson]

I Am Legend

In I Am Legend, a plague has decimated the world, and those unfortunate enough to survive are transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Robert Neville is the last living man on earth. Everyone else has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood. By day, he stalks the sleeping undead, by night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.
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Publisher's Summary

In I Am Legend, a plague has decimated the world, and those unfortunate enough to survive are transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Robert Neville is the last living man on earth. Every other man, woman, and child has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood. By day, he is the hunter, stalking the sleeping undead through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn. How long can one man survive in a world of vampires?

©1954, 1982 by Richard Matheson; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (4188 )
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4.2 (2060 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    David 03-26-12
    David 03-26-12 Member Since 2012

    Indiscriminate Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the very best vampire stories"

    A SF/horror classic that has aged surprisingly well. I really enjoyed Matheson's prose: it has a rich, vibrant, grimly humorous and vivid style that is almost pulp fiction and almost literary. The story itself is nothing new to fans of the genre, but remember that Matheson did it first. There is action and suspense and, of course, vampires, but there is also a lot of introspection. The main character, Robert Neville, is sometimes clever and inventive, sometimes a hard-boiled survivor, sometimes a brilliant researcher, and sometimes a half-mad a-hole. The ending is bitter and ironic, but perfect. This is a quick read/listen, so if you're a fan of the genre, you really owe it to yourself to see what inspired all the imitators that have come along since.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Brownsville, OR, USA 06-02-08
    Larry Brownsville, OR, USA 06-02-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "A classic !!!"

    I was just a kid the first time!Old this time and it took me back Great read Great ride !!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krystal 02-21-13
    Krystal 02-21-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed..."
    Any additional comments?

    This is one of those rare occasions, where the movie is better than the book. I was quite bored with this book many times. I think this book would have greatly benefited from a companion for the main character throughout the entire story. This book was all about the main character's madness/loneliness and he just came off creepy and weird. Not likeable at all. I have read this book and listened to the audio. I thought the book was ok when I read it, and I think the narrator's portrayal did not help. .

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mariah BOULDER, CO, United States 10-09-12
    Mariah BOULDER, CO, United States 10-09-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Totally different take on a Vampire Story"

    This book was not at all what I expected. It isn't anything like the movie, though I enjoyed both the stories of the book and the movie. I love vampire lore (huge Buffy fan here), but this was a totally new (new to me, I know the book was written in the 50s) and equally enjoyable take on the genre. This book went deeply into the scientific and psychological implications of a vampire apocalypse, which is a refreshing break from the more popular story line of humans falling in love with vampires and vice versa. I thought the reader was very good, though his woman voice was completely crazy. All in all, I was surprised and pleased!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 08-07-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 08-07-12 Member Since 2008

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Still better than any of the movie versions"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 08-26-10
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 08-26-10 Member Since 2010

    Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Short and VERY SWEET!"

    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!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Centerport, NY, USA 01-19-08
    Christopher Centerport, NY, USA 01-19-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Good!"

    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!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Nunaley 01-03-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best Vampire novels"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Guttman Atlanta, GA United States 12-31-07
    Joshua Guttman Atlanta, GA United States 12-31-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stupefying"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Knoxville, MD, United States 12-14-07
    Bruce Knoxville, MD, United States 12-14-07 Member Since 2007

    Poet, Writer, Novice Planetary Scientist, Musician, Hooligan, Former Audience Guy, Protector of Stupid Princesses.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Chris
    Swansea, Swansea, United Kingdom
    1/25/09
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    I'm totally new to audio books, this being only my 2nd. I downloaded this yesterday thinking it was going to last me the week going back and for work.
    Went to bed quite tired at about 12.30am and thought i'd just listen to a chapter or two until i fall asleep.

    5 hours later i was laying there still listening, totally gripped.

    The story is fantastic, the narrator is fantastic

    If you're a fan of horror, or you spent nights as a child under the duvet reading ghost stories by torchlight, you will love this book.

    Even if you're not a fan of horror you should listen to this

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carla
    GREAT WAKERING, ESSEX, United Kingdom
    12/4/08
    Overall
    "'absolutley fantastic'"

    I am an avid reader of many different types of fiction and enkoyed the book of I am legend, however, the audio book is wonderful, despite knowing the story and having seen the film I was gripped from start to finish. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
    10/16/08
    Overall
    "Superbly read and gripping story"

    I cannot recommend this book highly enough. A passionately read, darkly written book which knocks the spots off the recent film which can only be described as a hollywood pastiche of a horror classic. Why didn't they just use the story in the book which is fantastic rather than do a 'contemporary adaptation'.

    The book combines a gruesome picture of a world in decay with the character study of a man who travels to the edge of madness in adapting to his new world. An intelligent book which is a (or even the) classic of it's genre, not least because of the well-reasoned and fantastic ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dan B.
    1/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing - probably ruined by the film"
    What would have made I Am Legend better?

    Having not seen the film and all the other end of the world films such as World War Z and other zombie films, as it took the sting out of the situation as had seen it multiple times before.


    What will your next listen be?

    Dr sleep - Stephen King


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I can't think of much, it was more the story that was disappointing.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    This was the problem, it didn't spark much of anything. I found it hard to relate to.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • BillyBlackBear
    South Wales
    8/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for fans of the film"

    I was eagerly looking forward to listening to this book as a big fan of the film expecting as is so often the case that the book would far exceed the film but I was soooo disappointed. The story lacks the pace and intensity of the film and even the characters are less believable.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Suze
    MilhaguetFrance
    1/3/11
    Overall
    "A good listen"

    original 1954 edition, so less explicit, slower tempo and with an ending with less future promise than the new film version. Reminds me somewhat of the original Planet of the Apes, 1963 by Pierre Boulle that I read 40 years ago - which was also less explicit, a real twist to the tale and not so uplifting ending as the later films. A good listen nonetheless.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Penelope
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    11/26/10
    Overall
    "I am legend"

    Not too great. The reader makes the book rather tedious at times. Takes a little bit of willpower to get to the end even though it's only 5 and a half hours long. But the reader isn't too bad, I just think he hasn't captured the mood of a science fiction all too well.
    + just a little note: LISTENERS WHO HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE, THE BOOK IS NOTHING LIKE IT, SO DON'T BE PUT OFF.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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