I Am Legend and Other Stories PDF ä Legend and PDF

I Am Legend and Other Stories PDF ä Legend and PDF


I Am Legend and Other Stories [PDF / Epub] ⚣ I Am Legend and Other Stories ✈ Richard Matheson – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Robert Neville is the last living man on Earthbut he is not alone Every other man, woman, and child on Earth has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville s bloodBy day, he is the hunter, Robert Neville Legend and PDF Æ is the last living man on Earthbut he is not alone Every other man, woman, and child on Earth has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville s bloodBy 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 dawnHow long can one man survive in a.

  • Paperback
  • 317 pages
  • I Am Legend and Other Stories
  • Richard Matheson
  • English
  • 10 April 2019
  • 031286504X

About the Author: Richard Matheson

Born in Legend and PDF Æ Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier In he earned his bachelor s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in He married in and has four children, three of whom Chris, Richard Christian, and Ali Matheson are writers of fiction and I Am PDF/EPUB ² screenplaysHis first short story, Born of Man and Woman, appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in The tale of a monstrous child chained in its parents cellar, it was told in the first person as the creature s diary in poignantly non idiomatic English and immediately made Matheson famous Between and , Matheson produced dozens of stories, frequently blending elements of the science fiction, horror and fantasy genresSeveral of his stories, like Third from the Sun Am Legend and PDF/EPUB ✓ , Deadline and Button, Button are simple sketches with twist endings others, like Trespass , Being and Mute explore their characters dilemmas over twenty or thirty pages Some tales, such as The Funeral and The Doll that Does Everything incorporate zany satirical humour at the expense of genre clich s, and are written in an hysterically overblown prose very different from Matheson s usual pared down style Others, like The Test and Steel , portray the moral and physical struggles of ordinary people, rather than the then nearly ubiquitous scientists and superheroes, in situations which are at once futuristic and everyday Still others, such as Mad House , The Curious Child and perhaps most famously, Duel are tales of paranoia, in which the everyday environment of the present day becomes inexplicably alien or threateningHe wrote a number of episodes for the American TV series The Twilight Zone, including Steel, mentioned above and the famous Nightmare at , Feet adapted the works of Edgar Allan Poe for Roger Corman and Dennis Wheatley s The Devil Rides Out for Hammer Films and scripted Steven Spielberg s first feature, the TV movie Duel, from his own short story He also contributed a number of scripts to the Warner Brothers western series The Lawman between and In , Matheson earned an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his teleplay for The Night Stalker, one of two TV movies written by Matheson that preceded the series Kolchak The Night Stalker Matheson also wrote the screenplay for Fanatic US title Die Die My Darling starring Talullah Bankhead and Stefanie PowersNovels include The Shrinking Man filmed as The Incredible Shrinking Man, again from Matheson s own screenplay , and a science fiction vampire novel, I Am Legend, which has been filmed three times under the titles The Omega Man and The Last Man on Earth and once under the original title Other Matheson novels turned into notable films include What Dreams May Come, Stir of Echoes, Bid Time Return as Somewhere in Time , and Hell House as The Legend of Hell House and the aforementioned Duel, the last three adapted and scripted by Matheson himself Three of his short stories were filmed together as Trilogy of Terror, including Prey with its famous Zuni warrior dollIn , Matheson published The Beardless Warriors, a nonfantastic, autobiographical novel about teenage American soldiers in World War IIHe died at his home on June , , at the age of http uscmillan author richar.



10 thoughts on “I Am Legend and Other Stories

  1. David Putnam David Putnam says:

    I liked this book a great deal and with all books where I see the movie first I liked the book better I have liked post apocalyptic stories since I first read The Earth Abides and Dhalgren I was thirteen years old when my mother dropped me at the theater and I watched Omega Man with Charlton Heston Loved the concept, loved the movie which stayed with me for days afterward Fast forward to current day when I read the book I Am Legend which the movie was based on The book is well written with I liked this book a great deal and with all books where I see the movie first I liked the book better I have liked post apocalyptic stories since I first read The Earth Abides and Dhalgren I was thirteen years old when my mother dropped me at the theater and I watched Omega Man with Charlton Heston Loved the concept, loved the movie which stayed with me for days afterward Fast forward to current day when I read the book I Am Legend which the movie was based on The book is well written with details and close point of view that makes the story come alive The story does not follow the movie story lines in the Charlton Heston movie version or the Will Smith version The ending is different and unique I read anything that is well written no matter the genre and would recommend this book to readers who enjoy this topic.David Putnam Author of The Bruno Johnson series

  2. Stephen Stephen says:

    Like Lucy, this rating is gonna take some splainin Unfortunately, I don t have a slide show or any multi colored pie charts to provide visual assistance on this one, so I will try to splain it as clearly as I can, but I will be using quite a few i.e and e.g to provide supporting clarification for my commentary given I am performing this review without the safety net of visual aids Please, do not try this at home Oh, I ve also decided to throw in the occasional word in Spanishwhy Like Lucy, this rating is gonna take some splainin Unfortunately, I don t have a slide show or any multi colored pie charts to provide visual assistance on this one, so I will try to splain it as clearly as I can, but I will be using quite a few i.e and e.g to provide supporting clarification for my commentary given I am performing this review without the safety net of visual aids Please, do not try this at home Oh, I ve also decided to throw in the occasional word in Spanishwhy you ask.because I just watched some old I Love Lucy re runs and am getting in touch with my inner Ricky Ricardo Okay, from the standpoint of pure smile spreading enjoyment e.g., while reading, I look down and notice my toes tapping involuntarily to the smooth, jazzy, melodic flow of the narrative , I would probably rate this 3 to 3.5 stars i.e., there was no visible toe tapping, but I did have the occasional feeling of warmth move through my tummy though that could ve just been the tacos Richard Matheson is a terrific writer and this story, like his others, is a quality product and I have zero complaints about the prose or the technical choices he made took in constructing the narrative My issue was really with the main character, Robert Neville He just wasn t very compelling or interesting He certainly wasn t the most engaging character I have ever come across This is a bit of a problem since the entire book is spent lollygagging around with Robby as he provides running jogging sauntering commentary about the world around him This was a negative for me and detracted from the number of happy units I was able to mine from the reading experience So why the 4.0 to 4.5 stars I shall splain as there are several reasons that are mucho importante Oh, yeahthat s right, I just turned this into my first bilingual review How cosmopolitan First Primero is the plot This book, written in 1954, was the genesis for EVERY zombie book that follows and provides the basic framework for most of the post apocalyptic undead fiction being produced today Amazingly, it is also one of the best of these stories despite being the first Here is the basic plot or argumento Robert Neville is the sole survivor of a pandemic that struck the world and caused the infected to exhibit all the outward signs of vampirism vampirismo He spends his days gathering supplies, fortifying his house and killing the sleeping vampires and spends his nights barricaded in his house and fending off attacks from the walking dead Sound familiar Well this is the book that started it all and I felt that deserved some serious recognition for both its originality and Matheson s being a trailblazer pionero of the zombie sub genre Second Segundo , is the world building back story and Matheson s explanation of both the plague and the vampires which I thought was nothing short of EXCELENTE i.e., magnifico While certainly not good science in the sense that it can be analyzed objectively, the explanations given are compelling and superb theater I actually wishtime had been spent on this aspect of the book because I thought it was just fant stico i.e.if you need a translation of this, please stop reading and go put the crash helmet back on Third Tercero , is the end of the book which, in my opinion, is worthy of 5 HUGE stars all by itself I would say that goes double for the very last line of the bookwhich I think makes it a 10 MEGANORMOUS star ending if my math is correctThus, Matheson being the superb writer that he is, not only invents a sub genre but then, over 50 years after the fact, can still claim to have written one of the best, most original examples of it That is pretty especial, no Thus for all of the above reasons motivos , I am giving the book a rating of 4.0 to 4.5 stars despite not always enjoying the book as much as I would have liked However, if you haven t read this, I would highly recommend it as I think it has a lot going for it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  3. Jeff Jeff says:

    Straight outta Compton, another crazy ass vampireMore punks I smoke, yo, my rep gets biggerI m a bad vampire killa and you know thisBut the pussy ass ghouls don t show thisBut I don t give a damn, I ma make my snapsIf not from the garlic, from jackin the cropsJust like burglary, the definition is jackin And when illegally armed it s called packin Put a stake through a motherf Chorus City of Compton, City of Compton Damn that book was dope I know I ve used the whole edited lyrics as review b Straight outta Compton, another crazy ass vampireMore punks I smoke, yo, my rep gets biggerI m a bad vampire killa and you know thisBut the pussy ass ghouls don t show thisBut I don t give a damn, I ma make my snapsIf not from the garlic, from jackin the cropsJust like burglary, the definition is jackin And when illegally armed it s called packin Put a stake through a motherf Chorus City of Compton, City of Compton Damn that book was dope I know I ve used the whole edited lyrics as review before but I couldn t resist The story takes place in Compton and I need to build my street cred so Viola I m making secret gang signs at the monitor as I type this so yo On with the review.There are advantages and disadvantage to being the last man on Earth AdvantagesYou are your own moral compass.You can smoke in the house or anywhere else for that matter You can drink yourself into a stupor anytime you wantYou have plenty of time to try and work out a cureYou can park in front of fire hydrantsDisadvantagesLonely and isolated this book does an excellent job of depicting this Horny shameless hussy vampires play on this by being provocative Nightly attacks by vampires some are feral, some are lucid, none sparkly.You suddenly have to become Mr Science Guy and MacGyver all rolled into oneAll you have to listen to is classical music___________________________________________There have been three films made from this story, all with similar scenarios After apocalyptic nightmare that alters or kills the rest of humanity, hero is lone human survivor The Last Man on Earth This one has Vincent Price giving his typical overwrought, fey performance It also has the undead moving about as fast as your Grandma using her walker It adheres to the plotline of the bookclosely than the other two.The Omega Man Charleton Heston, during his SciFi period Here instead of vampires, you have evil, albino mutants Their mutant ability being annoying.I Am Legend Will Smith, big budget, CGI zombies that move faster than Granma Watching the movie will not spoil the book.This book also contains some of Matheson s short stories Matheson also wrote teleplays, some for The Twilight Zone, so a few of these stories do have that kind of vibe Most notably Buried Talents, The Near Departed, Person to Person, The Funeral.Dance of the Dead and Witch War both take place in the distant future.Mad House, a standout, and Dress of White Silk would be classified as horror Mad House is set in the fifties, before the whole concept of anger management took hold Prey has an odd familiarity to it It reads like something you would have seen on Rod Serling s Night Gallery or a very special episode of Mr Belvedere.From Shadowed Places is smexy.George Romero, Stephen King and Anne Rice have all cited Matheson as an influence He wrote a Star Trek episode and his short stories and books have been made into a number of films including Duel, Hell House, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Stir of Echoes and Somewhere in Time If you have an interest in horror, fantasy or scifi, you should give this a read Yeah, that word again Using Anne s made up words will hopefully give me evenstreet cred

  4. Lyn Lyn says:

    This is technically a collection of short stories, but I am Legend is the centerpiece, masterpiece, main event, etc I am Legend truly is a great story, deserving of all the accolades and an inspired source of all the horror genre influence over the past 60 years, including Stephen King It s about vampires the same way Castaway, the Tom Hanks film, is about the South Pacific It s about a man dealing with stress, nightmarish circumstances and his will to not just live, but to survive Matheson This is technically a collection of short stories, but I am Legend is the centerpiece, masterpiece, main event, etc I am Legend truly is a great story, deserving of all the accolades and an inspired source of all the horror genre influence over the past 60 years, including Stephen King It s about vampires the same way Castaway, the Tom Hanks film, is about the South Pacific It s about a man dealing with stress, nightmarish circumstances and his will to not just live, but to survive Matheson tells a tale of isolation, desperation, perseverance and ultimately, absolution.The other stories are not even close, many just sketches, some are comical By far the best is Prey and I remember watching the short film in the early 70s and being scared as a child Mad House comes closest to evoking the same degree of anger and isolation as I am Legend, very dark and with an almost Kafka esque absurdist twist at the end.Most notable about my reading the title story, though, was a growing understanding about the vampire zombie fascination over the past few years Matheson summed up that whole sub genre here it s all about de humanization and isolation, a literary Edvard Munch screaming about who we are amidst an outside that we cannot understand nor be a part

  5. Stephen Stephen says:

    4.0 to 4.5 stars Okay, this rating is going to a take a little explaining Unfortunately, I don t have a slide show or any multi colored pie charts to assist me as a visual aid on this one so I will try to be as clear as I can Warning I will probably be required to use quite a few i.e. and e.g. to provide clarification to my statements as well as some targeted use of bold and italics given that I am reviewing here without the safety net of my usual visual aids I have also decided to throw in 4.0 to 4.5 stars Okay, this rating is going to a take a little explaining Unfortunately, I don t have a slide show or any multi colored pie charts to assist me as a visual aid on this one so I will try to be as clear as I can Warning I will probably be required to use quite a few i.e. and e.g. to provide clarification to my statements as well as some targeted use of bold and italics given that I am reviewing here without the safety net of my usual visual aids I have also decided to throw in the occassional word in Spanishwhy you ask.why not I answer Okay, from a pure enjoyment standpoint e.g., Steve, while reading, looks down and notices his toes tapping involuntarily to the smooth, jazzy flow of the narrative , I would probably go 3 to 3.5 stars i.e., no toe tapping, but I did have the occassional feeling of warmth in my tummy.though that could have just been the tacos Richard Matheson is a terrific writer and, as with most of his work, this story is very well written i.e., I have zero complaints about the prose or the technical choices Matheson took in constructing the narrative My issue was really with the main character, Robert Neville who was not the most compelling or interesting character that I have ever come across Since the entire book is spent lollygagging around with Robby as he provides running jogging walking commentary, it subtracted a bit for me at least from the enjoyment of the reading experience So why the 4.0 to 4.5 stars Several reasons that are mucho importante Oh, yeahthat s right, I just turned this into my first bilingual review First Primero is the plot This book, written in 1954, was the genesis for EVERY zombie book that follows and provides the basic framework for most of the post apocalyptic undead fiction being produced today I would also point out that it is one of the best of these kinds of stories despite being the first Here is the basic plot or argumento Robert Neville is the sole survivor of a pandemic that struck the world and caused the infected to exhibit all the signs of vampirism vampirismo He spends his day gathering supplies, fortifying his house and killing the sleeping vampires and spends his nights barricaded in his house and fending off attacks from the walking dead Sound familiar Well this is the book that started it all and I felt that deserved some serious recognition for both for its originality and Matheson s being a trailblazer pionero of the zombie sub genre Second Segundo , is the back story and explanation of both the plague and the vampires which I thought was nothing short of EXCELENTE i.e., magnifico While certainly not good science in the sense that it can be analyzed objectively, the explanations given are compelling and very interesting reading I actually wishtime had been spent on this aspect of the book because I thought it was just fant stico i.e.if you really need a translation of this that one, you need to put the crash helmet back on Third Tercero , is the end of the book which, in my opinion, is worthy of 5 stars all by itself I would say that goes double for the very last line of the book which I think makes it a 10 star ending, but I will have to go back and check my math Thus, Matheson being the superb writer that he is, not only invents a sub genre but then, over 50 years after the fact, still can claim to have one of the best written, most original examples of it That is pretty especial.Thus for all of the reasons motivos above, I am giving the book a rating of 4.0 to 4.5 stars despite not always enjoying the book as much as I would have liked However, if you haven t read this, I would highly recommend it as I think it has a lot going for it

  6. Ron Ron says:

    Come out, Neville Of the vampire books, there are few I choose to read these days That section of horror was inundated years ago, much like the zombies shuffled their way into an entire genre, and the the post apocalyptic craze too The weird thing in saying this, is realizing how I Am Legend is a combination of all three only a token bit of zombie actually But it s far better than most of those others, likely because it came before them While reading, I found its influence apparent uCome out, Neville Of the vampire books, there are few I choose to read these days That section of horror was inundated years ago, much like the zombies shuffled their way into an entire genre, and the the post apocalyptic craze too The weird thing in saying this, is realizing how I Am Legend is a combination of all three only a token bit of zombie actually But it s far better than most of those others, likely because it came before them While reading, I found its influence apparent upon those I d read before Matheson s hero, Robert Neville, is a conflict in anger Being the last living man, can he be blamed But he is methodical in his search to find an answer, and persevere if only to find it What s the purpose of it is something he asks himself almost daily With good book titles, I often wonder the reasoning behind the words Why I Am Legend Does it speak of the vampire Yes and no Reading the book you find it in Neville s status Where once the vampire was a tale to be told, a silly myth, a legend to be believed or not believed, man has taken his place Robert Neville The last Once gone, only a tale to speak of.P.S My copy of I Am Legend is actually an and Other Stories version, something I didn t realize until after completing the following short story, Buried Talents I thought I d only entered another chapter, but couldn t help but wonder what it had to do with Robert Neville Ah, stupid me my plight for always avoiding the table of contents If I had, I would have seen that I Am Legend ends half way through the book A mere, but terrific, 160 page novella Mostly, it meant that I wasn t ready to leave Neville s story behind, and in a nutshell that says it all.Ten short stories comprise the and Other Stories here Prey is one with its maniacal Zuni fetish doll Anger pervades every facet of a man s waking hours in Mad House In Person to Person the sound of a phone ringing is heard every night at 3am He answers It could be a government device implanted inside his head, or complete imagination When reading, Matheson always makes me wonder It s his gift

  7. Nichole (DirrtyH) Nichole (DirrtyH) says:

    There s not much to say about this story that hasn t been said about other reviews.The premise of this story was great It was well executed, stayed interesting, and I really liked the ending I have only two criticisms the first being about the story, and the second being about the edition that I read.1 It was too short This book would have been much better if he had taken the time to flesh out some of the ideas, stretch out the mystery his search for the cause of vampirism ,character There s not much to say about this story that hasn t been said about other reviews.The premise of this story was great It was well executed, stayed interesting, and I really liked the ending I have only two criticisms the first being about the story, and the second being about the edition that I read.1 It was too short This book would have been much better if he had taken the time to flesh out some of the ideas, stretch out the mystery his search for the cause of vampirism ,character development the flashbacks about his wife and daughter, andinfo about Ben , etc This could have been so muchthan it was 2 Nowhere on or in this edition did it say that after I Am Legend was a collection of Matheson s other short stories The inclusion of short stories with this edition is fine that didn t bother me It was that I didn t know that half the book was short stories that irked me I was halfway through the book when all of a sudden the story ended and I was really caught off guard I kind of flipped through the rest of the book a couple times going, huh before I realized the story was really over Granted, there is a table of contents, but I assumed they were chapter titles I didn t take the time to analyze the page numbers and figure out that they were short stories ahead of time Maybe that s my fault, but it would have been nice if somewhere on the cover it had said I Am Legend and other short stories by Richard Matheson Or something like that Grr I did read a couple of the stories and they re fairly entertaining but predictable horror stories Maybe they werecutting edge when they were written they probably inspired a lot of the things I ve seen that now make them seem less original In short Great story, but be aware beforehand that it s very short about 160 pages and the rest of this edition is other stories

  8. Brett C Brett C says:

    I enjoyed reading this one The story was solid and flowed nicely The character was well developed and played great into the story From the beginning we see he was very human he had emotions of despair, depression, and even quite possibly an alcohol addiction I mean, what else would you expect from a man who lost everything and wound up being the last man on Earth His purpose in this new world would be to remain alive for as long as possible The concept of the vampires explained in the I enjoyed reading this one The story was solid and flowed nicely The character was well developed and played great into the story From the beginning we see he was very human he had emotions of despair, depression, and even quite possibly an alcohol addiction I mean, what else would you expect from a man who lost everything and wound up being the last man on Earth His purpose in this new world would be to remain alive for as long as possible The concept of the vampires explained in the book , his mission to destroy them, his daily living, healing from the trauma of losing his family, and the pseudoscientific explanations all gave to a topnotch story The ending was a good wrap up The 1964 Vincent Price film The Last Man on Earth almost follows this book to the letter The 2007 Will Smith version I Am Legend takes a different approach but was still a good movie in my opinion The 11 other stories in this were decent and showcased Richard Matheson as a talented storyteller I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good story Thanks

  9. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    Richard Matheson 1926 2013 In Memoriam.Such is the low profile of some great writers that it s only now I discovered that this early sf favourite of mine died five months ago I discovered sf in my teens as you know, the answer to the question when was the golden age of science fiction is 14 and I Am Legend was the first novel I read all in one without a break because I couldn t do anything except read it, I was as hypnotised as a rabbit in the headlights of a big van being driven strai Richard Matheson 1926 2013 In Memoriam.Such is the low profile of some great writers that it s only now I discovered that this early sf favourite of mine died five months ago I discovered sf in my teens as you know, the answer to the question when was the golden age of science fiction is 14 and I Am Legend was the first novel I read all in one without a break because I couldn t do anything except read it, I was as hypnotised as a rabbit in the headlights of a big van being driven straight at my head Man, what a trip Those were the great days of reading when every page was like an explosion This short novel, if I remember right, is frighteningly bleak, there s not the slightest chance of any kind of happy ending It was the first apocalyse story I read Now they re as common as traffic cones How many times have you seen the Statue of Liberty s arm poking up out of a heap of rubble the engulfing waters a pile of corpses Very surprisingly, the latest movie version of I am Legend was pretty good, I thought, except for the usual audience tested fake ending I usually mentally discount the last scene of every big budget movie these days, it s the next to last scene which is the real ending It s a convention, they have to do it I did enjoy the head of the Statue being hurled into the street in Cloverfield which was a great little apocalyse movie, and one I could imagine Richard Matheson writing I gave that scene my Best use of the Statue of Liberty in an SF Movie award for that year The wonderful tv series The Walking Dead is son of I Am Legend and I hope RM enjoyed the first couple of series before he died and didn t come back again

  10. J.G. Keely J.G. Keely says:

    I know there is a lot going for this book, in terms of popular opinion, influence, and originality, so you ll have to forgive me for interposing my body with the flywheel we ll see what s left at the end.In a discussion between Douglas Adams and Lewis Wolpert, the argument was made that the individual is unimportant in science, but is paramount in art Walpert proposed that scientific discovery is inevitable, as the confluence of ideas will tend to produce parallel developments, such as with Ne I know there is a lot going for this book, in terms of popular opinion, influence, and originality, so you ll have to forgive me for interposing my body with the flywheel we ll see what s left at the end.In a discussion between Douglas Adams and Lewis Wolpert, the argument was made that the individual is unimportant in science, but is paramount in art Walpert proposed that scientific discovery is inevitable, as the confluence of ideas will tend to produce parallel developments, such as with Newton and Leibniz, or Darwin and Wallace.However, I would venture that this is equally applicable to the arts, which respond just as readily to shared influences and social pressures The process of an artistic movement developing is often geographically precise, andan indication of similar origins than of proselytism.The vast cited influence of this book, then, is less remarkable when looking at the movements and ideas surrounding it The themes of horror always follow scientific discovery, as the Industrial Revolution brought forth Frankenstein, or the Communist scare alien threats This book draws upon the same sources and brings in the idea of apocalypse newly popularized by the nuclear age to create something which is not altogether as insightful as it is inevitable.Apocalyptic literature was hardly new, whether in a modern vision like Shelley s Last Man or ancient religious eschatology The nuclear age personalized the apocalypse, so that it was no longer the result of chance or divinity, bringing it to the forefront in a waypervasive than the religious warnings of a nigh end which go unfulfilled every other year Yet Matheson s vision is not this new, personalized apocalypse, but a continuation of plage fiction.For his proto zombies, Matheson took influence from the Communist scare aliens and bodysnatchers of the pulps to create a force which is mindless, anti individualistic, and inhuman, combining it with the vampires of film One can look at this as an early recognition of the danger and power of viral memetics.These same ideas will contine to be carried on after this work, not only though the oft mentioned zombie stories, but also through speculative fiction as represented by the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits which Matheson wrote for Beyond this, you may see I Am Legend as prototypical of the standard gotcha ending on which these series came to relyandheavily.All these movements and ideas are rife with opportunity for writers looking for a paradigm shift, but I would argue that I Am Legend fails to take advantage of these plentiful ideas One might point out that it is an early example, but this alone does not save it, as we may point out earlier writings which tackle similar issues with a greater depth and sense of conceptual exploration.There is Shelley s The Last Man , Bierce s Can Such Things Be , or the works of Mann, Hesse, and Conrad, who explored similar themes of inhumanity, hopelessness, sex, death, loneliness, and plague and who did so muchfully and with a sense of joy and artistry.There are many cases where pulp authors are later found to have overcome the simplicity of their genre, whether by sense of psychology, or character, or vibrancy, or theme Shakespeare was considered a populist, and in all his fart jokes, cliches, and story borrowing, we might compare him to Family Guy or The Simpsons the latter drawing allusions from 1980 s culture as he drew his from Greek Myth.But I digress Matheson as an author does not bear these strengths, and misses many opportunities to take advantage of the themes he explores, which may be new in their particular combination, but not without literary precedent.Matheson often lays open his characters psychological motivations His every statement of action or interaction is followed by an explanation of the thoughts and events which have just occurred However, his explanations do not expand our understanding of the characters Instead, the accompanying narration is so simple that one begins to feel that Matheson is simply telling you the same thing twice or even three times.If our protagonist asks a question, Matheson inevitably follows with he asked, incredulously It seems the fact that the character was both clearly incredulous and asking a question did not seem self evident enough Then again, nothing in the book is too self evident to prevent Matheson from painstakingly explaining it several times.He tells us what his characters are thinking almost constantly, despite the fact that it rarely offers any further insight One might achieve a similar effect by taking a Hemmingway story and having a high schooler add in how the character would be expected to feel after every piece of dialogue.Matheson doesn t have a flair for psychology, and so his characters reactions are often either unjustified or oversimplified Instead of writing characters who fit the story, Matheson seems to constantly change the characters or the story to try to achieve his authorial goals But then, how would one build an entertaining story around such shallow characters The protagonist is fond of lecturing the reader on behalf of the author, at which point Matheson seems to recognize his own transparency, deflecting by providing the character with sudden mood shifts before slowly creeping back Comparisons to Stephen King are apt another author whose storytelling is jumbled and rough despite the potential of the concepts driving it.It is not difficult to understand why this book was so influential in the process of reading it, I was constantly thinking of things I wished the author would do with the story Every time he overstated a point or underexplored a theme, I began to imagine how I might do it differently I pictured Romero closing the book having already built an entire movie in his head by simply extending where Matheson faltered.Indeed, the book often reads like a screenplay, complete with plodding character descriptions to keep the actors from getting lost At every turn, it breaks the rule of authorship that it is better to show the reader what is happening than to tell him Matheson s combination of ideas and influences should have been interesting, but his repetitive overexplaning mars the form of the story while his borrowed themes go unexplored for the sake of a gimmick ending.I will not deny that this work exists in a certain nexus along the development of some very important and interesting genres and works, but it isrough draft than groundbreaking original It is less an inspiring work than the one which revealed that there was a lot of space for other authors to re introduce old ideas by new means and methods If only Matheson had been able to take up this challenge himself, instead of making the void conspicuous by inhabiting it, we might remember this book not from where it happened to be, but from what it managed to do there

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10 thoughts on “I Am Legend and Other Stories

  1. David Putnam David Putnam says:

    I liked this book a great deal and with all books where I see the movie first I liked the book better I have liked post apocalyptic stories since I first read The Earth Abides and Dhalgren I was thirteen years old when my mother dropped me at the theater and I watched Omega Man with Charlton Heston Loved the concept, loved the movie which stayed with me for days afterward Fast forward to current day when I read the book I Am Legend which the movie was based on The book is well written with I liked this book a great deal and with all books where I see the movie first I liked the book better I have liked post apocalyptic stories since I first read The Earth Abides and Dhalgren I was thirteen years old when my mother dropped me at the theater and I watched Omega Man with Charlton Heston Loved the concept, loved the movie which stayed with me for days afterward Fast forward to current day when I read the book I Am Legend which the movie was based on The book is well written with details and close point of view that makes the story come alive The story does not follow the movie story lines in the Charlton Heston movie version or the Will Smith version The ending is different and unique I read anything that is well written no matter the genre and would recommend this book to readers who enjoy this topic.David Putnam Author of The Bruno Johnson series

  2. Stephen Stephen says:

    Like Lucy, this rating is gonna take some splainin Unfortunately, I don t have a slide show or any multi colored pie charts to provide visual assistance on this one, so I will try to splain it as clearly as I can, but I will be using quite a few i.e and e.g to provide supporting clarification for my commentary given I am performing this review without the safety net of visual aids Please, do not try this at home Oh, I ve also decided to throw in the occasional word in Spanishwhy Like Lucy, this rating is gonna take some splainin Unfortunately, I don t have a slide show or any multi colored pie charts to provide visual assistance on this one, so I will try to splain it as clearly as I can, but I will be using quite a few i.e and e.g to provide supporting clarification for my commentary given I am performing this review without the safety net of visual aids Please, do not try this at home Oh, I ve also decided to throw in the occasional word in Spanishwhy you ask.because I just watched some old I Love Lucy re runs and am getting in touch with my inner Ricky Ricardo Okay, from the standpoint of pure smile spreading enjoyment e.g., while reading, I look down and notice my toes tapping involuntarily to the smooth, jazzy, melodic flow of the narrative , I would probably rate this 3 to 3.5 stars i.e., there was no visible toe tapping, but I did have the occasional feeling of warmth move through my tummy though that could ve just been the tacos Richard Matheson is a terrific writer and this story, like his others, is a quality product and I have zero complaints about the prose or the technical choices he made took in constructing the narrative My issue was really with the main character, Robert Neville He just wasn t very compelling or interesting He certainly wasn t the most engaging character I have ever come across This is a bit of a problem since the entire book is spent lollygagging around with Robby as he provides running jogging sauntering commentary about the world around him This was a negative for me and detracted from the number of happy units I was able to mine from the reading experience So why the 4.0 to 4.5 stars I shall splain as there are several reasons that are mucho importante Oh, yeahthat s right, I just turned this into my first bilingual review How cosmopolitan First Primero is the plot This book, written in 1954, was the genesis for EVERY zombie book that follows and provides the basic framework for most of the post apocalyptic undead fiction being produced today Amazingly, it is also one of the best of these stories despite being the first Here is the basic plot or argumento Robert Neville is the sole survivor of a pandemic that struck the world and caused the infected to exhibit all the outward signs of vampirism vampirismo He spends his days gathering supplies, fortifying his house and killing the sleeping vampires and spends his nights barricaded in his house and fending off attacks from the walking dead Sound familiar Well this is the book that started it all and I felt that deserved some serious recognition for both its originality and Matheson s being a trailblazer pionero of the zombie sub genre Second Segundo , is the world building back story and Matheson s explanation of both the plague and the vampires which I thought was nothing short of EXCELENTE i.e., magnifico While certainly not good science in the sense that it can be analyzed objectively, the explanations given are compelling and superb theater I actually wishtime had been spent on this aspect of the book because I thought it was just fant stico i.e.if you need a translation of this, please stop reading and go put the crash helmet back on Third Tercero , is the end of the book which, in my opinion, is worthy of 5 HUGE stars all by itself I would say that goes double for the very last line of the bookwhich I think makes it a 10 MEGANORMOUS star ending if my math is correctThus, Matheson being the superb writer that he is, not only invents a sub genre but then, over 50 years after the fact, can still claim to have written one of the best, most original examples of it That is pretty especial, no Thus for all of the above reasons motivos , I am giving the book a rating of 4.0 to 4.5 stars despite not always enjoying the book as much as I would have liked However, if you haven t read this, I would highly recommend it as I think it has a lot going for it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  3. Jeff Jeff says:

    Straight outta Compton, another crazy ass vampireMore punks I smoke, yo, my rep gets biggerI m a bad vampire killa and you know thisBut the pussy ass ghouls don t show thisBut I don t give a damn, I ma make my snapsIf not from the garlic, from jackin the cropsJust like burglary, the definition is jackin And when illegally armed it s called packin Put a stake through a motherf Chorus City of Compton, City of Compton Damn that book was dope I know I ve used the whole edited lyrics as review b Straight outta Compton, another crazy ass vampireMore punks I smoke, yo, my rep gets biggerI m a bad vampire killa and you know thisBut the pussy ass ghouls don t show thisBut I don t give a damn, I ma make my snapsIf not from the garlic, from jackin the cropsJust like burglary, the definition is jackin And when illegally armed it s called packin Put a stake through a motherf Chorus City of Compton, City of Compton Damn that book was dope I know I ve used the whole edited lyrics as review before but I couldn t resist The story takes place in Compton and I need to build my street cred so Viola I m making secret gang signs at the monitor as I type this so yo On with the review.There are advantages and disadvantage to being the last man on Earth AdvantagesYou are your own moral compass.You can smoke in the house or anywhere else for that matter You can drink yourself into a stupor anytime you wantYou have plenty of time to try and work out a cureYou can park in front of fire hydrantsDisadvantagesLonely and isolated this book does an excellent job of depicting this Horny shameless hussy vampires play on this by being provocative Nightly attacks by vampires some are feral, some are lucid, none sparkly.You suddenly have to become Mr Science Guy and MacGyver all rolled into oneAll you have to listen to is classical music___________________________________________There have been three films made from this story, all with similar scenarios After apocalyptic nightmare that alters or kills the rest of humanity, hero is lone human survivor The Last Man on Earth This one has Vincent Price giving his typical overwrought, fey performance It also has the undead moving about as fast as your Grandma using her walker It adheres to the plotline of the bookclosely than the other two.The Omega Man Charleton Heston, during his SciFi period Here instead of vampires, you have evil, albino mutants Their mutant ability being annoying.I Am Legend Will Smith, big budget, CGI zombies that move faster than Granma Watching the movie will not spoil the book.This book also contains some of Matheson s short stories Matheson also wrote teleplays, some for The Twilight Zone, so a few of these stories do have that kind of vibe Most notably Buried Talents, The Near Departed, Person to Person, The Funeral.Dance of the Dead and Witch War both take place in the distant future.Mad House, a standout, and Dress of White Silk would be classified as horror Mad House is set in the fifties, before the whole concept of anger management took hold Prey has an odd familiarity to it It reads like something you would have seen on Rod Serling s Night Gallery or a very special episode of Mr Belvedere.From Shadowed Places is smexy.George Romero, Stephen King and Anne Rice have all cited Matheson as an influence He wrote a Star Trek episode and his short stories and books have been made into a number of films including Duel, Hell House, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Stir of Echoes and Somewhere in Time If you have an interest in horror, fantasy or scifi, you should give this a read Yeah, that word again Using Anne s made up words will hopefully give me evenstreet cred

  4. Lyn Lyn says:

    This is technically a collection of short stories, but I am Legend is the centerpiece, masterpiece, main event, etc I am Legend truly is a great story, deserving of all the accolades and an inspired source of all the horror genre influence over the past 60 years, including Stephen King It s about vampires the same way Castaway, the Tom Hanks film, is about the South Pacific It s about a man dealing with stress, nightmarish circumstances and his will to not just live, but to survive Matheson This is technically a collection of short stories, but I am Legend is the centerpiece, masterpiece, main event, etc I am Legend truly is a great story, deserving of all the accolades and an inspired source of all the horror genre influence over the past 60 years, including Stephen King It s about vampires the same way Castaway, the Tom Hanks film, is about the South Pacific It s about a man dealing with stress, nightmarish circumstances and his will to not just live, but to survive Matheson tells a tale of isolation, desperation, perseverance and ultimately, absolution.The other stories are not even close, many just sketches, some are comical By far the best is Prey and I remember watching the short film in the early 70s and being scared as a child Mad House comes closest to evoking the same degree of anger and isolation as I am Legend, very dark and with an almost Kafka esque absurdist twist at the end.Most notable about my reading the title story, though, was a growing understanding about the vampire zombie fascination over the past few years Matheson summed up that whole sub genre here it s all about de humanization and isolation, a literary Edvard Munch screaming about who we are amidst an outside that we cannot understand nor be a part

  5. Stephen Stephen says:

    4.0 to 4.5 stars Okay, this rating is going to a take a little explaining Unfortunately, I don t have a slide show or any multi colored pie charts to assist me as a visual aid on this one so I will try to be as clear as I can Warning I will probably be required to use quite a few i.e. and e.g. to provide clarification to my statements as well as some targeted use of bold and italics given that I am reviewing here without the safety net of my usual visual aids I have also decided to throw in 4.0 to 4.5 stars Okay, this rating is going to a take a little explaining Unfortunately, I don t have a slide show or any multi colored pie charts to assist me as a visual aid on this one so I will try to be as clear as I can Warning I will probably be required to use quite a few i.e. and e.g. to provide clarification to my statements as well as some targeted use of bold and italics given that I am reviewing here without the safety net of my usual visual aids I have also decided to throw in the occassional word in Spanishwhy you ask.why not I answer Okay, from a pure enjoyment standpoint e.g., Steve, while reading, looks down and notices his toes tapping involuntarily to the smooth, jazzy flow of the narrative , I would probably go 3 to 3.5 stars i.e., no toe tapping, but I did have the occassional feeling of warmth in my tummy.though that could have just been the tacos Richard Matheson is a terrific writer and, as with most of his work, this story is very well written i.e., I have zero complaints about the prose or the technical choices Matheson took in constructing the narrative My issue was really with the main character, Robert Neville who was not the most compelling or interesting character that I have ever come across Since the entire book is spent lollygagging around with Robby as he provides running jogging walking commentary, it subtracted a bit for me at least from the enjoyment of the reading experience So why the 4.0 to 4.5 stars Several reasons that are mucho importante Oh, yeahthat s right, I just turned this into my first bilingual review First Primero is the plot This book, written in 1954, was the genesis for EVERY zombie book that follows and provides the basic framework for most of the post apocalyptic undead fiction being produced today I would also point out that it is one of the best of these kinds of stories despite being the first Here is the basic plot or argumento Robert Neville is the sole survivor of a pandemic that struck the world and caused the infected to exhibit all the signs of vampirism vampirismo He spends his day gathering supplies, fortifying his house and killing the sleeping vampires and spends his nights barricaded in his house and fending off attacks from the walking dead Sound familiar Well this is the book that started it all and I felt that deserved some serious recognition for both for its originality and Matheson s being a trailblazer pionero of the zombie sub genre Second Segundo , is the back story and explanation of both the plague and the vampires which I thought was nothing short of EXCELENTE i.e., magnifico While certainly not good science in the sense that it can be analyzed objectively, the explanations given are compelling and very interesting reading I actually wishtime had been spent on this aspect of the book because I thought it was just fant stico i.e.if you really need a translation of this that one, you need to put the crash helmet back on Third Tercero , is the end of the book which, in my opinion, is worthy of 5 stars all by itself I would say that goes double for the very last line of the book which I think makes it a 10 star ending, but I will have to go back and check my math Thus, Matheson being the superb writer that he is, not only invents a sub genre but then, over 50 years after the fact, still can claim to have one of the best written, most original examples of it That is pretty especial.Thus for all of the reasons motivos above, I am giving the book a rating of 4.0 to 4.5 stars despite not always enjoying the book as much as I would have liked However, if you haven t read this, I would highly recommend it as I think it has a lot going for it

  6. Ron Ron says:

    Come out, Neville Of the vampire books, there are few I choose to read these days That section of horror was inundated years ago, much like the zombies shuffled their way into an entire genre, and the the post apocalyptic craze too The weird thing in saying this, is realizing how I Am Legend is a combination of all three only a token bit of zombie actually But it s far better than most of those others, likely because it came before them While reading, I found its influence apparent uCome out, Neville Of the vampire books, there are few I choose to read these days That section of horror was inundated years ago, much like the zombies shuffled their way into an entire genre, and the the post apocalyptic craze too The weird thing in saying this, is realizing how I Am Legend is a combination of all three only a token bit of zombie actually But it s far better than most of those others, likely because it came before them While reading, I found its influence apparent upon those I d read before Matheson s hero, Robert Neville, is a conflict in anger Being the last living man, can he be blamed But he is methodical in his search to find an answer, and persevere if only to find it What s the purpose of it is something he asks himself almost daily With good book titles, I often wonder the reasoning behind the words Why I Am Legend Does it speak of the vampire Yes and no Reading the book you find it in Neville s status Where once the vampire was a tale to be told, a silly myth, a legend to be believed or not believed, man has taken his place Robert Neville The last Once gone, only a tale to speak of.P.S My copy of I Am Legend is actually an and Other Stories version, something I didn t realize until after completing the following short story, Buried Talents I thought I d only entered another chapter, but couldn t help but wonder what it had to do with Robert Neville Ah, stupid me my plight for always avoiding the table of contents If I had, I would have seen that I Am Legend ends half way through the book A mere, but terrific, 160 page novella Mostly, it meant that I wasn t ready to leave Neville s story behind, and in a nutshell that says it all.Ten short stories comprise the and Other Stories here Prey is one with its maniacal Zuni fetish doll Anger pervades every facet of a man s waking hours in Mad House In Person to Person the sound of a phone ringing is heard every night at 3am He answers It could be a government device implanted inside his head, or complete imagination When reading, Matheson always makes me wonder It s his gift

  7. Nichole (DirrtyH) Nichole (DirrtyH) says:

    There s not much to say about this story that hasn t been said about other reviews.The premise of this story was great It was well executed, stayed interesting, and I really liked the ending I have only two criticisms the first being about the story, and the second being about the edition that I read.1 It was too short This book would have been much better if he had taken the time to flesh out some of the ideas, stretch out the mystery his search for the cause of vampirism ,character There s not much to say about this story that hasn t been said about other reviews.The premise of this story was great It was well executed, stayed interesting, and I really liked the ending I have only two criticisms the first being about the story, and the second being about the edition that I read.1 It was too short This book would have been much better if he had taken the time to flesh out some of the ideas, stretch out the mystery his search for the cause of vampirism ,character development the flashbacks about his wife and daughter, andinfo about Ben , etc This could have been so muchthan it was 2 Nowhere on or in this edition did it say that after I Am Legend was a collection of Matheson s other short stories The inclusion of short stories with this edition is fine that didn t bother me It was that I didn t know that half the book was short stories that irked me I was halfway through the book when all of a sudden the story ended and I was really caught off guard I kind of flipped through the rest of the book a couple times going, huh before I realized the story was really over Granted, there is a table of contents, but I assumed they were chapter titles I didn t take the time to analyze the page numbers and figure out that they were short stories ahead of time Maybe that s my fault, but it would have been nice if somewhere on the cover it had said I Am Legend and other short stories by Richard Matheson Or something like that Grr I did read a couple of the stories and they re fairly entertaining but predictable horror stories Maybe they werecutting edge when they were written they probably inspired a lot of the things I ve seen that now make them seem less original In short Great story, but be aware beforehand that it s very short about 160 pages and the rest of this edition is other stories

  8. Brett C Brett C says:

    I enjoyed reading this one The story was solid and flowed nicely The character was well developed and played great into the story From the beginning we see he was very human he had emotions of despair, depression, and even quite possibly an alcohol addiction I mean, what else would you expect from a man who lost everything and wound up being the last man on Earth His purpose in this new world would be to remain alive for as long as possible The concept of the vampires explained in the I enjoyed reading this one The story was solid and flowed nicely The character was well developed and played great into the story From the beginning we see he was very human he had emotions of despair, depression, and even quite possibly an alcohol addiction I mean, what else would you expect from a man who lost everything and wound up being the last man on Earth His purpose in this new world would be to remain alive for as long as possible The concept of the vampires explained in the book , his mission to destroy them, his daily living, healing from the trauma of losing his family, and the pseudoscientific explanations all gave to a topnotch story The ending was a good wrap up The 1964 Vincent Price film The Last Man on Earth almost follows this book to the letter The 2007 Will Smith version I Am Legend takes a different approach but was still a good movie in my opinion The 11 other stories in this were decent and showcased Richard Matheson as a talented storyteller I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good story Thanks

  9. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    Richard Matheson 1926 2013 In Memoriam.Such is the low profile of some great writers that it s only now I discovered that this early sf favourite of mine died five months ago I discovered sf in my teens as you know, the answer to the question when was the golden age of science fiction is 14 and I Am Legend was the first novel I read all in one without a break because I couldn t do anything except read it, I was as hypnotised as a rabbit in the headlights of a big van being driven strai Richard Matheson 1926 2013 In Memoriam.Such is the low profile of some great writers that it s only now I discovered that this early sf favourite of mine died five months ago I discovered sf in my teens as you know, the answer to the question when was the golden age of science fiction is 14 and I Am Legend was the first novel I read all in one without a break because I couldn t do anything except read it, I was as hypnotised as a rabbit in the headlights of a big van being driven straight at my head Man, what a trip Those were the great days of reading when every page was like an explosion This short novel, if I remember right, is frighteningly bleak, there s not the slightest chance of any kind of happy ending It was the first apocalyse story I read Now they re as common as traffic cones How many times have you seen the Statue of Liberty s arm poking up out of a heap of rubble the engulfing waters a pile of corpses Very surprisingly, the latest movie version of I am Legend was pretty good, I thought, except for the usual audience tested fake ending I usually mentally discount the last scene of every big budget movie these days, it s the next to last scene which is the real ending It s a convention, they have to do it I did enjoy the head of the Statue being hurled into the street in Cloverfield which was a great little apocalyse movie, and one I could imagine Richard Matheson writing I gave that scene my Best use of the Statue of Liberty in an SF Movie award for that year The wonderful tv series The Walking Dead is son of I Am Legend and I hope RM enjoyed the first couple of series before he died and didn t come back again

  10. J.G. Keely J.G. Keely says:

    I know there is a lot going for this book, in terms of popular opinion, influence, and originality, so you ll have to forgive me for interposing my body with the flywheel we ll see what s left at the end.In a discussion between Douglas Adams and Lewis Wolpert, the argument was made that the individual is unimportant in science, but is paramount in art Walpert proposed that scientific discovery is inevitable, as the confluence of ideas will tend to produce parallel developments, such as with Ne I know there is a lot going for this book, in terms of popular opinion, influence, and originality, so you ll have to forgive me for interposing my body with the flywheel we ll see what s left at the end.In a discussion between Douglas Adams and Lewis Wolpert, the argument was made that the individual is unimportant in science, but is paramount in art Walpert proposed that scientific discovery is inevitable, as the confluence of ideas will tend to produce parallel developments, such as with Newton and Leibniz, or Darwin and Wallace.However, I would venture that this is equally applicable to the arts, which respond just as readily to shared influences and social pressures The process of an artistic movement developing is often geographically precise, andan indication of similar origins than of proselytism.The vast cited influence of this book, then, is less remarkable when looking at the movements and ideas surrounding it The themes of horror always follow scientific discovery, as the Industrial Revolution brought forth Frankenstein, or the Communist scare alien threats This book draws upon the same sources and brings in the idea of apocalypse newly popularized by the nuclear age to create something which is not altogether as insightful as it is inevitable.Apocalyptic literature was hardly new, whether in a modern vision like Shelley s Last Man or ancient religious eschatology The nuclear age personalized the apocalypse, so that it was no longer the result of chance or divinity, bringing it to the forefront in a waypervasive than the religious warnings of a nigh end which go unfulfilled every other year Yet Matheson s vision is not this new, personalized apocalypse, but a continuation of plage fiction.For his proto zombies, Matheson took influence from the Communist scare aliens and bodysnatchers of the pulps to create a force which is mindless, anti individualistic, and inhuman, combining it with the vampires of film One can look at this as an early recognition of the danger and power of viral memetics.These same ideas will contine to be carried on after this work, not only though the oft mentioned zombie stories, but also through speculative fiction as represented by the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits which Matheson wrote for Beyond this, you may see I Am Legend as prototypical of the standard gotcha ending on which these series came to relyandheavily.All these movements and ideas are rife with opportunity for writers looking for a paradigm shift, but I would argue that I Am Legend fails to take advantage of these plentiful ideas One might point out that it is an early example, but this alone does not save it, as we may point out earlier writings which tackle similar issues with a greater depth and sense of conceptual exploration.There is Shelley s The Last Man , Bierce s Can Such Things Be , or the works of Mann, Hesse, and Conrad, who explored similar themes of inhumanity, hopelessness, sex, death, loneliness, and plague and who did so muchfully and with a sense of joy and artistry.There are many cases where pulp authors are later found to have overcome the simplicity of their genre, whether by sense of psychology, or character, or vibrancy, or theme Shakespeare was considered a populist, and in all his fart jokes, cliches, and story borrowing, we might compare him to Family Guy or The Simpsons the latter drawing allusions from 1980 s culture as he drew his from Greek Myth.But I digress Matheson as an author does not bear these strengths, and misses many opportunities to take advantage of the themes he explores, which may be new in their particular combination, but not without literary precedent.Matheson often lays open his characters psychological motivations His every statement of action or interaction is followed by an explanation of the thoughts and events which have just occurred However, his explanations do not expand our understanding of the characters Instead, the accompanying narration is so simple that one begins to feel that Matheson is simply telling you the same thing twice or even three times.If our protagonist asks a question, Matheson inevitably follows with he asked, incredulously It seems the fact that the character was both clearly incredulous and asking a question did not seem self evident enough Then again, nothing in the book is too self evident to prevent Matheson from painstakingly explaining it several times.He tells us what his characters are thinking almost constantly, despite the fact that it rarely offers any further insight One might achieve a similar effect by taking a Hemmingway story and having a high schooler add in how the character would be expected to feel after every piece of dialogue.Matheson doesn t have a flair for psychology, and so his characters reactions are often either unjustified or oversimplified Instead of writing characters who fit the story, Matheson seems to constantly change the characters or the story to try to achieve his authorial goals But then, how would one build an entertaining story around such shallow characters The protagonist is fond of lecturing the reader on behalf of the author, at which point Matheson seems to recognize his own transparency, deflecting by providing the character with sudden mood shifts before slowly creeping back Comparisons to Stephen King are apt another author whose storytelling is jumbled and rough despite the potential of the concepts driving it.It is not difficult to understand why this book was so influential in the process of reading it, I was constantly thinking of things I wished the author would do with the story Every time he overstated a point or underexplored a theme, I began to imagine how I might do it differently I pictured Romero closing the book having already built an entire movie in his head by simply extending where Matheson faltered.Indeed, the book often reads like a screenplay, complete with plodding character descriptions to keep the actors from getting lost At every turn, it breaks the rule of authorship that it is better to show the reader what is happening than to tell him Matheson s combination of ideas and influences should have been interesting, but his repetitive overexplaning mars the form of the story while his borrowed themes go unexplored for the sake of a gimmick ending.I will not deny that this work exists in a certain nexus along the development of some very important and interesting genres and works, but it isrough draft than groundbreaking original It is less an inspiring work than the one which revealed that there was a lot of space for other authors to re introduce old ideas by new means and methods If only Matheson had been able to take up this challenge himself, instead of making the void conspicuous by inhabiting it, we might remember this book not from where it happened to be, but from what it managed to do there

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