I first read I am Legend by Richard Matheson just a couple of years ago. My notes from back then say that I liked it, but didn’t understand the ending. I saw the audiobook at the library the other day so decided to give it another try.
I Am Legend regularly shows up on lists of the best post-apocalyptic novels of all time, but I have to say, even after reading it a second time, I just don’t get it. It was ok, but had way too many glaring plot holes to make it really enjoyable, and there’s no way it ranks up there with the real heavy hitters of the genre.
The story centers on Robert Neville, apparently the only survivor of a plague that turns it’s victims into vampires. Yup, honest to god, need to drink blood vampires. Matheson does a good job of coming up with a scientific explanation for vampirism, but it feels like he spent all his time thinking about that, because there are lots of other elements in the book he could have worked on.
The story, and its final revelation, work from a very high level, as long as you don’t dig too deep and question how or why things happened the way they did.
For those of you who haven’t read it yet, I don’t want to give too much away, so for now, suffice it to say that if you don’t like stories that make you ask “why?” and don’t give any explanations, then you might not like this one. But as I mentioned, lots of other people do like it, so proceed at your own risk.
If you have read it and want to debate me as I nitpick it’s faults, head on over to Forum.PostApocalyptic.info and let’s have at it.