Thursday, October 20, 2011

Audiobook Review: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I'm on a monster kick and had heard I Am Legend (1954) by Richard Matheson has zombies and/or vampires. Since it's almost Halloween, that's what I want!

Genre: Post-apocalyptic horror
Length: 5h 19m
Audio publisher: Blackstone Audio (2007)
Read by: Robertson Dean
From: Local library OverDrive
Note: The version I listened to was I Am Legend and Other Stories (10h 52m)

Story: Robert Neville has been living alone in his Los Angeles area home for three years. He gets up every day at 5:30. He's inside everyday by dark. He's got plenty of food and wine. What he doesn't have is companionship, because he's the last man on earth.

Thoughts: What a fabulous story. I loved the deliberate way Neville went about his daily errands and how he used the scientific method to learn what he need to know. If I was the last person on earth, I would spend my time in the library, too. What I wouldn't do is use an alarm to wake up at 5:30 am. It's the end of the world, sleep in! Descriptions of I Am Legend say it has vampires. I can see where that comes from, but when vampires travel in packs and are as slow-moving as these ones, they're more like zombies. I guess it's all a matter of food source: blood vs brains. The book takes place in 1976, and I didn't realize when I was listening that it was written in 1954! I thought it was written in the 1970's and was wondering why some of the technology was a little off. A manual choke in a car, for example. Overall an excellent story about what it means to be human and what makes life worth living.

Reading: Robertson Dean has acted in a lot of movies and tv shows, but this is the first time I've listened to him in an audiobook. I loved his deep voice. His slow, methodical reading was perfect for Robert Neville. His female voices weren't as melodious, so its lucky the female characters don't say much.

Film: After I listened to I Am Legend, I had to watch the 2007 film with Will Smith to see what was altered. The book and film are not at all the same. They differ in every detail. It was fun to see the different takes on the same story, and I like the parts they added to the movie. I found the movie to be a little too simplistic and upbeat, so I prefer the book.

Final thoughts: A must-listen cannon classic for both vampire and zombie aficionados.

Grade: 5 out of 5

This post is a part of Murder, Monsters, and Mayhem by Jenn's Bookshelves and RIP VI by Stainless Steel Droppings.

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