I Am Legend and other stories

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by KingLupid, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. KingLupid

    KingLupid New Member

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    Well, if you are like me, you have been trying to get your hands on this book for years. It has always been high due to micro-availability. So, like the movie or hate it, it did generate a new printing of the book, making it accessible to any who want it.

    So who has read it? I loved the novella I Am Legend. Still working my way through the other short stories, and so far Meh....

    What did you think?
     
  2. JagedNS

    JagedNS Where are my pajamas?

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    Well I actually enjoyed the movie and came out feeling that I saw what I expected. As for any books or novellas, I haven't heard anything about them either way. They were supposedly hard to get? That's interesting. Is there supposed to be a sequel to this I wonder?
     
  3. phil_geo

    phil_geo Rat Thing

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    Here are my thoughts on the movie and the book, but they mainly deal with comparing the endings, so spoilers abound:
    I was very disappointed with the Hollywood happy ending in I Am Legend the movie. Now I'm not one of those movie snobs who thinks it has to be exactly like the book, or have a depressing ending to be a good movie. BUT, in this case, the apocalyptic ending of the book is the (1) point of the story, (2) reason it is a classic, and (3) adds deep meaning to an otherwise typical plot.

    In the book, when the new order of intelligent vampires sacrifices Neville, he realizes that he is the demon, the bad guy of the new world, the thing that they fear in the night. He is a legend allright - he's the thing they scare their kids with. Now THAT'S a twist. The betrayal by Ruth (in the book) is also so unexpected and brutal that it stays with you for decades. Both of these things were completely written out of the movie.

    You can tell the screenwriters flirted with it - they have the intelligent vampire leader in the shadows, but they must have decided not to go through with the complete tale.
     
  4. JagedNS

    JagedNS Where are my pajamas?

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    That's interesting for sure. I'll definitely have to keep my eye open for the original book and give it a read. Thanks.
     
  5. Shayna

    Shayna Greyscale

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    I Am Legend

    Since I work for a bookstore...I can say now that you can get the book anywhere! Yes...I am legend is a short story! As like many of you, I have not got around to read the rest of the stories in this book!!

    And I got this book from a friend who lives in California because it was not available in our stores here!!(This was quite some time ago!!)
     
  6. JagedNS

    JagedNS Where are my pajamas?

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    Yeah, I just checked it out on Amazon.ca and it's readily available in new or used. I just hate paying shipping charges. I'm so cheap. :D
     
  7. Icarium

    Icarium Lost Wanderer

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    Ok... to whoever thought the movie was as good as the book, or that it was a good adaptation... are you out of your mind? the only reason that book was called "I am legend" is probably to sell it, otherwise there is nothing in that movie that reflects in any way the book, nothing at all.
    As far as the movie goes, it was an ok post apocalyptic movie and as such, was pretty good.
    As an adaptation from the book, it sucked big time.
    The initial situation is not the same, the characters are nothing alike, the monsters are nothing alike and the endings are nothing alike... so what did they take from the book exactly? the guy has a dog and it dies? is that IT?
    Anyway, the book kicks ass and if you havent read it, well, what the hell are you waiting for? it s like 120 pages, just take an evening and read it, you wont regret it.
     
  8. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Give me liberty!

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    I don't know about 'I am Legend' having been hard to find in the US, but in the UK and Ireland it has actually enjoyed something of a resurgence over the past ten years or so because it was one of the first volumes published in the well-received Gollancz Science Fiction Masterworks series. It's been quite ubiquitous.
     
  9. phil_geo

    phil_geo Rat Thing

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    Yeah its funny, my old copy of this book is about 140 pages, but I saw a new release of it in Borders last night with Will Smith on the cover, and somehow they managed to make it a 310 page book. There were no other stories in the book, just big margins and typeface. It is amazing how they can do that.
     
  10. David Wilbanks

    David Wilbanks Specfic Writer

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    So far, I prefer the book to any movie I've seen. But I haven't seen the new one yet. Anyway, you can't call yourself a horror fan until you've read this book. ;)
     
  11. Icarium

    Icarium Lost Wanderer

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    yeah, i heard they had some guy rewrite the novel so make sure you read the original...
     
  12. chucklehead

    chucklehead New Member

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    I am legend was great. the other short stories in the "will smith" covered book were not all that interesting. :p
     
  13. Yobmod

    Yobmod Yobmod

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    We're the other stories not interesting because they are not horror? or just not that good? Mathesons collected stories won the WFA and Stoker award, and i was planning to buy that book soon...

    Also he's written a other famous books: I am Legend, The Shrinking Man, Bid Time Return, A Stir of Echoes, Hell House, What Dreams May Come (all also made into films).
     
  14. Queequeg

    Queequeg New Member

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    I have the three paperback volumes of Matheson's collected short stories, and I would certainly recommend them. Matheson ranks with Bradbury and Ellison as one of the master short story writers in the field of spec fic. A lot of his stories are hard to pin down as sci-fi or horror, but they're great nonetheless.
     
  15. Yobmod

    Yobmod Yobmod

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    Yay, a reply!

    Thanks, i will be buying the collected stories with my next batch of books :)

    and it brings me one step close to having read all the WFA winners... :)
     
  16. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    Just to note: I Am Legend, the movie edition, is a collection of short stories and one short novel. I Am Legend the novel is the length novels generally were in the 1950s, when it was originally written and published.

    The short stories I've read by Matheson in the past I've found enjoyable, if not exceptional. "Born of Man and Woman" is an exception; it startled me the first time I read it and it hasn't lost it's power even as I've grown older and harder to impress. Let's give Matheson his due, though. Without him the contemporary urban horror story might look much different than it does. Fritz Leiber and Robert Bloch may have started the movement away from antiquarian horror stories like those of Lovecraft, but Matheson was the one who developed the direction and his work leads directly to that of Stephen King, among others.

    Randy M.
     
  17. Vinnie T

    Vinnie T New Member

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    I never knew they were in short supply. The novella "I Am Legend" was excellent. But yeah, the short stories, in my opinion, are kind of boring. Sucks too, because I didn't know there were short stories when I bought the book and figured I'd get 300 pages of "I Am Legend". Boy, I was surprised when the story just abruptly ended.
     
  18. lin

    lin Banned

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    I went to some trouble to see this last week and was disappointed. I read the story when it first came out and have seen both previous films of it. I don't feel like that stuff has to have anything to do with making a new film, though.

    Smith was just fine. In fact, it might be his best acting to date...much more emotional depth than most of his films call for. Production values were excellent.

    A few glitches (these things are completely subhuman he says...but manage to make a sophisticated trap for him. And are showing both advanced planning and personal vengenance in doing so.

    My big problem was the ending. For one thing, the tacked-on happy country bit seemed forced and lame. Like the last minute of Blade Runner. And the dumb Voice Over.

    But more than that. I was very interesting at the final confrontation, waiting to see how they would deal with it. And they just had everything blow up. Kind of emotionally nihilistic, but also showing a paucity of writing imagination.

    Just for ONE alternate scenario that would have been much better (and where I kind of thought they were heading)

    He's obviously got the "head vampire" down on him..everything about his capture of the young woman he cures points to why. And when he's shut in, with the head spook trying to get in and kill him, the young woman shows signs of coming around. That gets brushed aside (and he cured her only to kill her, by the way).

    The obvious like would be for him to bring her completely around, seen through the plexiglas by her dude and the other freaks. There's hope for a cure, your girlfriend's back, sign up for shots, everbody wins.

    That scenario could have been handled for an intriquing and much more satisfying wrap up.

    Instead, I felt the ending was a big a let down as an early Gilliam picture. before he learned how to do endings.
     
  19. lin

    lin Banned

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    I went to some trouble to see this last week and was disappointed. I read the story when it first came out and have seen both previous films of it. I don't feel like that stuff has to have anything to do with making a new film, though.

    Smith was just fine. In fact, it might be his best acting to date...much more emotional depth than most of his films call for. Production values were excellent.

    A few glitches (these things are completely subhuman he says...but manage to make a sophisticated trap for him. And are showing both advanced planning and personal vengenance in doing so.

    My big problem was the ending. For one thing, the tacked-on happy country bit seemed forced and lame. Like the last minute of Blade Runner. And the dumb Voice Over.

    But more than that. I was very interesting at the final confrontation, waiting to see how they would deal with it. And they just had everything blow up. Kind of emotionally nihilistic, but also showing a paucity of writing imagination.

    Just for ONE alternate scenario that would have been much better (and where I kind of thought they were heading)

    He's obviously got the "head vampire" down on him..everything about his capture of the young woman he cures points to why. And when he's shut in, with the head spook trying to get in and kill him, the young woman shows signs of coming around. That gets brushed aside (and he cured her only to kill her, by the way).

    The obvious like would be for him to bring her completely around, seen through the plexiglas by her dude and the other freaks. There's hope for a cure, your girlfriend's back, sign up for shots, everbody wins.

    That scenario could have been handled for an intriquing and much more satisfying wrap up.

    Instead, I felt the ending was a big a let down as an early Gilliam picture. before he learned how to do endings.
     
  20. johnkarr

    johnkarr Registered User

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    Haven't read the story but saw Omega Man way back when and now I Am Legend. Thought it was great. Nice departure from the first movie. I would have liked to have had at least a handfull of baddies as actual people, instead of computer graphics, but that's a small complaint.