I Am Legend (1954) – Richard Matheson – Book Review
You know there is a novel that I would say is probably in the top 5 of the most valuable horror novels ever written… Not just because it revolutionized it’s subgenre, but also because it helped set the stage (and in some ways could be said to be one of the bars), that filmmakers aspire to try to emulate when they are making their movies… that of course being the book that author Bram Stoker (1847 – 1912) wrote in 1897… ‘Dracula’!
Another one that I would say that did that as well… But to a slightly lesser extent is, ‘Richard Matheson’s seminal 1954 horror novel, ‘I Am Legend’!
Now if you could say that each generation there is some one who creates a work of art that helps to revolutionize the whole genre until the next generation… Well then I would say that the work that Richard Matheson did in, ‘I Am Legend’ is to the most recently previous generation, what Bram Stoker did for his generation!
What I mean by this is that I think people like, ‘George A. Romero’, and other filmmakers emulated this novel when they created their masterpieces… (In the same way as Bram Stoker’s work used to be emulated)..
But in the end, what I really liked about this novel is that it changed the concept of the (Zombie/Vampire) novel, and took the super natural element out of it, and replaced it with a more down home ailment, that nearly destroys the world!
As a side note, besides the fact that this novel has been emulated before, it has also been made in to movies that have stared the likes of Vincent Price (The Pit And The Pendulum) & Charlton Heston (Planet Of The Apes)!
In the end, this novel is an awful lot of fun, and if you get a chance to check it out, you might find that you like it!