Publisher: SF Masterworks
What the ‘blurb’ says:
Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth…but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville’s blood.
By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.
How long can one man survive like this?
I’m not the biggest fan of vampire novels, neither have I much reading experience with the Science Fiction genre. I did join the ‘Twilight’ bandwagon a few years ago and it put me off this genre for a lot of reasons, those of which I won’t go into now.
The main reason I picked up this novel, was because I have watched the film adaptation with Will Smith and was curious to see how the book differs from the film. As it turns out, it’s VERY different from the film.
That’s not to say that there isn’t anything wrong with the film, I quite enjoyed it, but the tone of the novel, is dark, disturbing and very psychological.
The novel is told from the first person. I think the effect this has, something that the film was unable to do, was to centre the novel around the psychological effects, and loneliness that a person could experience in this type of situation, rather than provide suspense and action to the story. This novel mainly focuses on the coping mechanisms and survival instincts, that are built within human nature.
That lack of action, differs from the film; this book only really has a couple of exciting parts within it, but I was really compelled by Robert’s fight for survival and to discover a cure for the virus, destroying the humanity.
If you’re expecting a romantic, sparkly portrayal of vampires, forget it. Also, if you’re in a bad mood, then ‘I am Legend’ isn’t going to lift your spirits. This is gritty, psychological and at times, downright depressing.
So you would assume that I didn’t enjoy this novel, but I really did. It made a change from the stereotypical romantic vision of the vampire and was a novel which (pardon the pun), I could really get my teeth into.
If you like Sci-fi mixed with horror and grit, then I would recommend this novel.
My Rating ****
Have you read this novel? What did you think of it?