Reviewing 'I am Legend' by Richard Matheson

Introduction

‘I am Legend’ by Richard Matheson was the book I chose to venture into the world of audiobooks for the very first time. I download most of my books through Audible, a renowned provider of audiobooks and other works delivered in the audio format. I had already been hooked on listening to podcasts for a while (in particular those at twit.tv) and was lured into audiobooks not long thereafter. I’m not necessarily a big fan of horror movies, but it seemed exciting to try a horror novel for a change – just to see whether I could become submerged into the matter as much as I had become with podcasts. I’ve had a monthly subscription to Audible ever since.

The book illustrates the story of Robert Neville, a man trapped in a world infested with a plague which has turned the most part of population into blood thirsty vampires. He’s the last man on earth. By day he stalks the undead and by night he desperately locks himself in his home, evading the monsters’ hunger for his flesh and blood. The question is, how long can he survive?

This mild horror story is a marvel and a treat for people in favor the genre. Though one may expect bloody and gory scenes from ‘I am Legend’, it mostly describes Robert Neville’s experiences and struggle for comprehension of his lost world.

  • Author: Richard Matheson
  • Narrator: Robertson Dean
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
  • Year of publication: 2007
  • Audible Pricing: $14.68 or 1 credit

Visit Audible for a audio sample ‘I am Legend’ by Richard Matheson.

About the author
Quoting from Wikipedia

Richard Burton Matheson (born February 20, 1926) is an American author and screenwriter, typically of fantasy, horror or science fiction.

Born in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri–Columbia and moved to California in 1951. He married in 1952 and has four children, three of whom (Chris, Richard Christian, and Ali Matheson) are writers of fiction and screenplays.

Narration
5 out of 5

There’s a good narrator for every genre and Robertson Dean does a great job in bringing out the gloomy atmosphere of ‘I am legend’. He makes every second of the 5 hours and 19 minutes worthwhile and utterly enjoyable. The scary impersonations of certain [vampirical] figures make it extra realistic and diverse. Dean also makes seamless transitions between male and female voice-acting, without making it artificial. It’s a pity this narrator doesn’t do more horror novels.

The Story
5 out of 5

Robert Neville is literally the last man on earth. He lives in an enforced house, with bolted doors and windows. He even has his own generator. At night, the vampires lurch at his front door; the men yelling and crying, the women uncovering their dead-pale bodies, hoping to lure Neville out, who is becoming less and less immune to the sexual enticements. The loneliness is taking its toll and Robert needs to know what happened to the world. He lost his wife, he lost his friends, he lost everything to the plague.

He digs into the matter of microbiology, learning and analyzing, trying to understand how the plague came to be, how it manifested so grotesquely – so effectively. Day by day, hour by hour, he uncovers the secrets of the vampires. The plague is a virus, but is it curable?

One day, he spots a dog. The dog is alive, not plagued. He tries to lure it in, but on a certain day, it dies, along with a part of his heart, as he had grown attached to the dog – being the only thing alive next to him.

Some time later, he has an encounter with a woman…

Evaluation

‘I am Legend’ is a very absorbing novel and pulls you into the dead world of Robert Neville without you wanting to get out. If you’ve never experienced audiobooks in a serious way, this book is a great place to start. A guaranteed hit.

Overall rating: 10 out of 10.

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