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  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Shayna View Post
    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!!)
    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.

  2. #17

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by KingLupid View Post
    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?
    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.

  3. #18
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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.

  4. #19
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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.

  5. #20
    Registered User johnkarr's Avatar
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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.

  6. #21
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    Regarding the other short stories in the I Am legend book, I disagree with the majority of posts here. I found them to be very enjoyable. I not normally a big short story reader, prefering longer works, but I try to always read one short story between each novel. I found these stories to be thought provoking and I do plan to pick up more of his story collections in the future.

  7. #22
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    I Am Legend had a lot of interesting concepts, but the writing style was a little too "1950s" for my tastes. The other stories were imaginative but pretty forgettable once you get around to it (although the last one about the guy with voices in his head was pretty amusing).
    The most major difference I noticed between the movie and any film adaptation is that Matheson wrote Neville to be a very nasty and unlikeable human being from start to finish, whereas Hollywood prefers to portray him as much more of a hero.

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    Maybe somebody can help me out with the name of a very similar story from the same period.

    It was quite like this one, lone survivor in the big city, but there is a woman there too. And they bungle around like kids, going naked without noticing each other, etc. Then they hear a shot. There are other humans! They take one look at each other and jump on each other and get nasty.

    A slight concept, I guess, but it stuck in my mind for thirty years. Why the title and/or author didn't, who knows?

  9. #24
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    Post I Am Legend

    I Am Legend
    by Richard Matheson


    Before I get on with the review let me caution you that there are a few major spoilers included - I just couldn’t write a coherent review without them; so if you haven’t read the book yet or are strictly against knowing in advance some of the important issues that the book raises, you should consider not reading further.

    I bought this book based on many recommendations, most of them coming from trusted sources, and I’m glad to say that they’ve once more hit the spot. I bought I Am Legend with a bunch of other books last month, when I was visiting Croatia for one of their biggest SF conventions – SFeraKon (the guest of honor was no other than Richard Morgan). I was determined to be thrifty, but when I decided that I needed every other book on sale at the convention…then the spending spree was inevitable (In my defense, this time around I went for “pure” quality…I bought several titles from SF Masterworks series). My to-read-pile is enormous and since I don’t have an exact schedule worked out I never know which book I’ll read next. I picked up I Am Legend on a pure whim. What I heard about the book before I bought it is that it’s good and while I really wanted to see the movie (starring Will Smith) I decided against it…at least until I read the book first.

    I have to agree with all the praise and really cannot question its inclusion in the fabulous SF Masterworks series – it’s absolutely stunning. I was actually surprised when I found out that it was written way back in 1954 because it could as easily be conceived by any of the current writers – any talented writer at any rate. Matheson set the story in the late seventies (so it counts as a near future post-apocalypse story; at least by that era’s standards). One of the rare clues that give away the fact that the book was written more than five decades ago is the lack of modern technology (computers, mobile phones,…), but while the lack of mobile phones is understandable -- the last man on earth really has no need for them – a microwave and a few other modern gadgets would come in quite handy if he had them at disposal. The depiction of vampires is quite outdated (na´ve) as well, especially for post-Interview With the Vampire-era, where Buffy the Vampire Slayer inspired series and urban fantasy literature thrives. But I guess it could easily reflect the view of a modern person that never cared about any horror movies and vampire series.

    The post-apocalyptic urban setting devoid of life and the main protagonist -- a middle-aged American, practical and witty by nature – remind me heavily of Stephen King’s The Stand and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I suppose it’s one of the main reasons why this novel is called an ageless classic . Besides, regardless of the year in which the book was conceived it takes the events on a whole new level.

    When “post-apocalypse” is mentioned, one inadvertently envisions a bleak and ravaged setting that usually entails the following elements: (1) a small number of survivors coping with chaos and imminent extinction and (2) those same survivors striving to reestablish some sort of order (civilization). In I Am Legend Matheson chose a bit different approach – the society is being actively rebuilt all right, but not by humanity as we know it. The harbinger of the apocalypse in this case is a bacterium that causes people to transform into vampires, and since nobody actually dies from the infection (or rather – they don’t stop living), there is plenty of the so called “survivors” that can rebuild the civilization as they see fit. The apocalypse in this case does not devastate, but trans-morphs – it presents a switch between two modes-of-being that brings the extinction of one race and the birth of another. Hence the title of the book – as the vampire society comes to be, so the human society drifts into myth and becomes a legend almost overnight.

    The main protagonist, Mr.Neville, presents a glitch in this new system, a true anachronism, but otherwise a likable and sympathetic fellow (from the readers perspective that is) – a perfectly ordinary person, not the brightest or the strongest, but definitely one of the most stubborn and resilient, a true survivor (the reason behind why he hasn’t changed is a mere coincidence). He adapts, studies books learns the hard way how to improve his chances of survival against the vampire society. In time he comes to accept the fact that they are not as brainless and evil as he believed them to be – they are as intelligent race of individuals as we are – or, in this case, were. It’s just as hard as with many brilliant works of fiction that manage to touch you in a profound and emotional way, to be one hundred percent objective and analytic – you are prone to let yourself go and just enjoy the ride. This is exactly why this book earned its place with the rest of the SF Masterworks. Strongly recommended and something that fans of post-apocalyptic fiction need to read, if they want to call themselves that.


    (you should bear in mind that this is a very subjective grade – even more so than usual, and is based more on my reading experience than any objective analysis I could muster up)

  10. #25
    Bowties Are Cool. ravenlynne's Avatar
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    Phil_Geo...I totally agree with you.

  11. #26
    Registered User johnkarr's Avatar
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    Well, I finished the novella and enjoyed it tremendously. None of the films portrayed the story accurately. Surprise, surprise. Matheson could write. As noted earlier in the thread, I too was surprised by how short the story actually turned out to be, though I liked the abrupt ending. The gist of the short story afterward, with the mysterious stranger tossing ping-pong balls, was kind of lost on me, though I'll finish the collection.

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