Posted: July 28th, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: deals | Tags: matheson | No Comments »
Stephen King: “books like I am Legend were an inspiration to me”
Dean Koontz: “I am Legend is the most clever and riveting vampire novel since Dracula”
Despite his great body of work, Richard Matheson is an icon known very little outside of science fiction circles. He penned Steven Spielberg’s directorial debut Duel (1971), as well as some of the most engaging episodes of The Twilight Zone.
His opus magnum is of course I AM LEGEND, first published in 1954. This is a great book which was ahead of its time and one of my favorite horror/science fiction novels.
The book’s reading delight is totally different from movies mentioned below which is almost always the case. Thanks to Jan’s review on Amazon below, I saved time about the movie versions on this post. Italics are mine.
Excerpt from Jan S. Strand’s Amazon’s Review:
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite books!, June 7, 2011
This review is from: I Am Legend (Kindle Edition)
Matheson’s I AM LEGEND has been made into three bad movies:
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH starred Vincent Price. Made back in 1964, it’s the most faithful of the adaptations, but hindered by a very low budget. It is a classic in my opinion.
THE OMEGA MAN starring Charlton Heston, 1971, could charitably be described as “based upon” I AM LEGEND. Worst of the bunch.
I AM LEGEND the big budget action movie starring Will Smith (2007) was reasonably faithful in an “amp it up and blow it away” manner (true, since Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the producers), but continued the tradition of totally missing the ending. Hint: To see what Matheson was getting at with the ending, look at the title!
Robert Neville has witnessed the end of the world. The world’s population has been obliterated by a vampire virus, though Neville has somehow survived. As he toils to make sense of it all and protect himself against the hounding vampires who seek out his life force, Neville embarks on a series of projects to discover the source of the plague and hopefully put an end to the vampires. In a tale that plays with the slippery slope of sanity, Dean makes the perfect choice for a narrator. His powerful performance proves chilling and haunting. As Neville teeters on the edge of sanity, Dean manipulates his tone, speed, emphasis and projection accordingly, making listeners tremble with his narration. While some might rebuke his narration for being too dramatic or providing too much interpretation, Dean’s intensity adds to the book in a way that benefits listeners over readers. The visceral nature of his performance evokes the image of a foamy-mouthed Dean growling at a microphone with spittle flying.