I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

I Am Legend

By Richard Matheson

  • Release Date: 2011-05-15
  • Genre: Horror
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 710 Ratings)


Robert Neville has witnessed the end of the world. The entire population has been obliterated by a vampire virus. Somehow, Neville survived. He must now struggle to make sense of everything that has happened and learn to protect himself against the vampires who hunt him constantly. He must, because perhaps there is nothing else human left. I Am Legend was a major influence in horror and brought a whole new thematic concept to apocalyptic literature. Several humanistic and emotional themes in this book blend the horror genre with traditional fiction: we see Neville as an emotional person, and observe as he suffers bouts of depression, dips into alcoholism and picks up his strength again to fight the vampiric bacteria that has infected (and killed off) most of humankind. Neville soon meets a woman, Ruth, (after three years alone), who seems to be uninfected and a lone survivor. The two become close and he learns from Ruth that the infected have learned to fight the disease and can spend short amounts of time in the daylight, slowly rebuilding strength and society as it was. The novel was adapted to film in 1964 as The Last Man on Earth, as Omega Man in 1971 and finally as I am Legend in 2007, starring Will Smith. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Richard Burton Matheson (born February 20, 1926) is an American author and screenwriter working primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. Between 1950 and 1971, Matheson produced dozens of stories, frequently combining elements from the different genres in which he works, making important contributions to the further development of modern horror. Matheson wrote fourteen episodes for the American television series The Twilight Zone, including the famous "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." Notably, Steven Spielberg's first full length film (made for television) was based on the story “Duel,” for which Matheson also wrote the screenplay. Matheson's first novel, Someone is Bleeding, was published in 1953. His thirty novels since then include The Shrinking Man (filmed as The Incredible Shrinking Man, again adapted from Matheson's own screenplay), and a science fiction/vampire novel, I Am Legend (made into film as The Last Man on Earth, 1964, The Omega Man, 1971, and I Am Legend, 2007). A new film based on Matheson's story “Steel,” entitled Real Steel, is a major motion picture that was released in October 2011. His most recent novel, Other Kingdoms, appeared in March 2011. According to film critic Roger Ebert, Matheson's scientific approach to the supernatural in I Am Legend and other novels from the 1950s and '60s anticipated the "pseudorealistic fantasy novels like Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist." In 2010, Matheson was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and Stephen King has cited Matheson as a creative influence; his novel Cell is dedicated to Matheson along with filmmaker George A. Romero. Author Anne Rice has said that Matheson's short story, "A Dress of White Silk" was a primary early influence on her interest in vampires and fantasy fiction.


  • I am legend.

    By Lucas Lorenzoo
    Fantastic book, Richard Matheson takes us deep into the mind of Robert Neville, a man who unfortunately is the last human on Earth. The book is pretty much us (the reader) learning how a rational man like Robert Neville tries to understand such an irrational time. Vampires, robert refuses to be believe that such things exist so throughout the book he sinks his teeth into science more specifically biology. He tries to understand what makes humans change into these creatures and how can they be cured, throughout this journey we learn a-lot about robert, he pities these vampires, he wants to help all of them, he is lonely, he tries everything and anything to make this eternal isolation go by faster. It is definitely one of the greatest psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. I loved it, every second of it.
  • Early Zombie saga

    By Dogillama
    Clever but long winded and page skippingly self-indulgent at times. An abrupt and wholly undeveloped plot turn at the ending also left me disappointed.
  • Disappointed

    By Alizzle Sizzle
    Messy timeline/storytelling
  • The legend of the pages

    By Mr. Baller33
    The book was a fantastic installment to my mind and I look forward to forgetting about the details of the book only so that I can reread them. But I will never forget the final words or the legend of a single lone man or the anguish of the lonely or even the acceptance of the man who new he would be remembered as the bad the murderer that is why this book is so great it is able to comfort the reader through sheer anger and frightens the reader through forced acceptance of being seen as a abnormality, a freak of the past world.
  • legend

    By Am book reader
    Truly a classic, have read and enjoyed it many times.
  • Great read.

    By Hoodedace-007
    I really enjoyed reading this book, I have read the real book three times and listened to it about four times on audio. The movies were good but compared to the book they missed stuff. The movies are The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price, The Omega Man with Carlton Heston, and I am Legend with Will Smith. Which is the most known because of when it came out and the title. But the Last Man on Earth is the closet thing to being true to the book besides some minor changes. The Omega Man changes it quite a bit but keeps it in LA like the book. I am Legend had some but went to New York and changed quite a bit from the book. Still a good movie but I still prefer the book of course.
  • Book good, I tunes bad

    By eliz132
    So I wanted to get this book so that I could LISTEN to it in a long car ride... Little did I know that I bought the BOOK and not the audiobook :/ And I can't read in the car because I get car sick sooooo that was a waste of $8. That's the only reason I gave it 3 stars, other than that I'm sure the book is fine.
  • Good book

    By Mzbladycece
    This the first book I ever read and didn't want to put it down . Yes it's worth the money
  • A very good, quick read

    By Obamablowschunks
    I saw the movie, and it left me with a lot if questions. I thought reading the book would answer them, but like other reviews say, this is absolutely nothing like the movie. I enjoyed it , and read it pretty quickly. I especially enjoyed the author's exploration and descriptions of Neville's psychological battles. There isn't a lot of action in this book, but it is a page-turner nonetheless. Definitely worth the money I paid for it. It's one of those books that make you ponder and think about it.
  • Not worth it

    By Moonpasha
    Book seems better then it really is. Disappointing ending only makes it that much worse.