I Am Legend - the book

SmellyDawg

New Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Luxembourg
Just finished reading I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. I also saw the movie last year but I definitely prefer the book.

Any thoughts on

- the title which is also the last sentence of the book?
- the relationship between Robert Neville and Ben Courtman?
- Robert Neville's relationship with alcohol?
- Robert Neville's relationship with women? (slutty image of vampire women)
- Ruth's "gang" trying to build a new society?
- the vampire virus theories presented in the book?

Any other thoughts? :)
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
18,816
The 1964 The Last Man on Earth film staring Vincent Price was AN adaptation of Matheson's novel. iI's closer to the book than the Omega Man 1971 with Charlton Heston and than the 2007 Will Smith film.
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
9,010
Location
Scotland
It’s been a long time but I do remember really enjoying the book. Definitely better than the films. I’d agree with @BAYLOR that the Vincent Price version is closest and best.

I think it’s time to read it again:)
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
18,816
It’s been a long time but I do remember really enjoying the book. Definitely better than the films. I’d agree with @BAYLOR that the Vincent Price version is closest and best.

I think it’s time to read it again:)

I read it a long time ago, Superb. :cool:
 

Rodders

|-O-| (-O-) |-O-|
Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
5,599
Still on my TBR pile. Maybe I should address that in 2022. I haven't seen The Last Man on Earth, but I did watch the Omega Man and Will Smith's I Am Legend. Both of which I enjoyed. The first half to Smith's version with really well done, but the ending was a little too Hollywood.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
18,816
Still on my TBR pile. Maybe I should address that in 2022. I haven't seen The Last Man on Earth, but I did watch the Omega Man and Will Smith's I Am Legend. Both of which I enjoyed. The first half to Smith's version with really well done, but the ending was a little too Hollywood.

The Will Smith film has an alternate ending .
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
9,010
Location
Scotland
I like Charlton Heston in SF movies but, overall, I thought the best thing about The Omega Man was the soundtrack. I felt it added just the right audio atmosphere (with a very typical 70s vibe). It’s a movie I’ll happily watch for the music as much as anything else.
 

KGeo777

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
759
Location
Canada
The Omega Man could have been really good--the soundtrack IS great. They could have made Mathias the leader of the Ruth group--but they loaded it with so much BS. Matheson felt Heston was the ideal casting for the part. I thought of him when reading the book--and supposedly Heston felt they dropped the ball on it-and it could have been better. Supposedly Orson Welles and him discussed the book when they making Touch of Evil.
Hammer was going to make it but they would have changed the ending. The ending is problematic because it goes against all the normal endings in a story--it's a complete defeat of the normal.



The title which is also the last sentence of the book?



**I think it is the brilliance of the idea--that the normal man becomes a legendary monster. It really is the perfect maybe best example of "who is the real monster?" And he said he had to fight his publisher over the title because they felt it was bad English. They wanted it to be: "I Am A Legend."


- the relationship between Robert Neville and Ben Courtman?


*Interesting--especially since Neville comes to sympathize with him near the end. He is so used to him as a foil he is not happy to see him gone--he represents a reliable dependable element of his new life in isolation.


- Robert Neville's relationship with alcohol?

*I cant remember that well but yes he was drinking a lot. Like a vampire maybe?


- Robert Neville's relationship with women? (slutty image of vampire women)

*that is one thing I remember from the book--how he said the zombie-like women vampires were trying to seduce him-- that is one of the most lasting horrific images in the book-(that and the dog hiding as the vampires attack outside)-I think he described it as comical--and that felt realistic--that one would find the humor in something so awful and repetitive.
He was using the women vampires for experiments--I remember that-but it was logical because he had to be able to overpower them. And it also fit the legend aspect in the ending.

- Ruth's "gang" trying to build a new society?

*
That is the sinister existential surprise in it. That it is kind of evolutionary force at work--the common theme in Matheson stories is the supernatural menace becomes something positive or accepted. What would Lovecraft think? I think he would find the idea brilliant. He would recognize the exoticism of the concept--Dracula in reverse--because the trend in the 20th century--and even Dracula has a bit of that too--Dracula the historical figure repelled the Muslim invasion and it sounds like he was eventually demonized for that. How did Dracula go from being a Romanian hero for Christianity to being identified with the Devil and why?
In the book, the normal man and the warrior concept--the Beowulf type---is now defeated. He cannot defend his society against the foreign invasion or monster. Even worse, he has become the monster to those who defeated him--and you sort of sympathize with them--realizing that he was a monster to the new society. He's accepting that and amused by the irony. I love that phrase "the unassailable fortress of forever."
This is the germ of the concept in the book. Fighting against the inevitable failure.


- the vampire virus theories presented in the book?

*I wasn't intrigued by all the scientific mumbo-jumbo. It felt like page-filler. Since Neville was not a scientist.

I think the stuff about the fear of mirrors was interesting. They were repulsed by their image.
 

Similar threads


Top