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I am Legend May 16, 2007

Posted by taryn in best books ever, fantasy, horror.

I am Legend

While I was waiting for crappy Kylie Chan to arrive, I delved into some other much better sci fi/fantasy and landed upon I am Legend by Richard Matheson.

This is a great book, well worth a read. Since it was published in 1958, there are bound to be some copies in second hand book stores for a song!

Stephen King himself wrote a glowing introduction to this book and I have to agree – Matheson manages to keep upping the tension and the pace.

“When you thought it had to be over, that your nerves couldn’t stand any more, that was when Matheson turned on the afterburners. He wouldn’t quit. He was relentless.”

I was very dissapointed to read this review over at Book Covers Blog, I think you have to think a little bit about when this book was written – 1958. Sure this story of isolation amidst an end of the world type virus might seem obvious now – think 28 Days Later, Cell, etc etc but it was first.

I really empathised with the hero, he is so flawed, teetering on the brink of madness and I loved the ending – won’t say anything to spoil it but very refreshing.

You can read an extract and a bit of Stephen King’s essay here.

I found this book through the Orion/Gollancz books series, they all have great covers. I love this cover- stylish, simple and scary! The texture is also really rough and the book has rounded edges too. V old school.

The titles in the Gollancz series are:

The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin, The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, Cities in Flight by James Blish, Ubik by Philip K Dick, Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny, Gateway by Frederik Pohl and The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. (Thanks to Diary of a Phanatique)

I’ve read most, so I’ll try and add the reviews here.

One of the first books in our book club was The Forever War….thanks David!


1. Molie - June 4, 2007

I read this somewhat recently. It was a nice quick read.
I really enjoyed the book but the reviews I read of it prior really built it up so I went in with higher expectations than I should have. I need to learn to not do that.

I looked at the link you provided and was surprised to see a comment that this is being made into a movie with Will Smith in the lead. It will be interesting to see how this lends itself to the big screen.

As a GRRM fan I can’t help but love your blog title. :)

2. taryn - June 5, 2007

I know Will Smith? It is just bizarre. I really hope they don’t change the ending!

Thanks for the comment – I read it and got lost on the GRRM site on Sunday. When is the next book coming out? I thought he split it and would have had the other one almost ready by now… ah well. patience is a virtue they say.

Unfortunately by the time the next one comes out I will have to read them all again to get back into it… actually that’s not such a bad thing, since they’re such a good read.

Have you read Dying of the Light? I quite enjoyed that. Any other recommendations for GRRM would be welcome!

3. Molie - June 7, 2007

I haven’t read Dying of the Light. I did enjoy
Fevre Dream and I loved Tuf Voyaging.

GRRM will announce the completion of Dance on his site, until then he says don’t pay any mind to any dates listed elsewhere.

I reread ASOS to get ready for AFFC and I am sure I read AFFC when ADWD is released. Like you said it’s not a bad thing, and I always find things I missed the first go round.

4. Aaron Stambaugh - April 26, 2008

I wan the movie bad because I want to read the book but after the movie.

5. aaron stambaugh - March 13, 2009

they’re here to take me away.aha

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