I Am Legend and Other Stories

317 pages

English language

Published Nov. 7, 1997

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4 stars (11 reviews)

I Am Legend is a 1954 post-apocalyptic horror novel by American writer Richard Matheson that was influential in the modern development of zombie and vampire literature and in popularizing the concept of a worldwide apocalypse due to disease. The novel was a success and was adapted into the films The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971), and I Am Legend (2007). It was also an inspiration for George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968).

13 editions

Groundbreaking, but later authors would do more with it.

3 stars

This was primarily interesting to me because it showed me the early versions of tropes that have become familiar in the sci-fi and horror genres. It doesn't achieve greatness but sets the framework for later works by other authors that do.

It's kind of difficult to judge a book like this because things that were novel or big reveals have since become familiar tropes. The central concept of I Am Legend is rock solid, but it sometimes drags or goes on tangents, even with the short length, and I never found the scientific explanations either easy to follow or convincing.

Witch War was my favorite of the short stories, and I'd love to see someone adapt it or expand it into a larger book. From Shadowed Places had obviously outdated and questionable racial elements.

A lot of these felt like spec scripts for The Twilight Zone, so I wasn't surprised …