Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 160 - I Am Legend

I Am Legend
Richard Matheson
Narrated by :: Robertson Dean

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis: [from bn.com]

Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth . . . but he is not alone. An incurable plague has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him. By day, he is a hunter, stalking the infected monstrosities through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn.... Richard Matheson’s classic novel has now been transformed by Warner Bros. into a major motion picture starring Academy Award nominee Will Smith. Directed by Francis Lawrence (“Constantine”), the film opens nationwide in December 2007.

Review:

When I got an iTunes card from somewhere I can't really recall, I spent it on audio books instead of music. Only because I use LimeWire so I download my music *cough*illegal-I-know*cough*Because I wanted to try one out. So this being my first audio book I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

I don't know if it was Robertson Dean's voice that really grew on me, the fact that it was unabridged and I don't mind a good story telling every now and again, or the fact that it was this book that got me. All I know is that it was definitely worth putting the songs on my iPod on hold for a while so I could listen to I Am Legend.

I had no idea Matheson's book was adapted into 3 different movies: The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971), and the modern I Am Legend (2007). I went here and you can watch the entire 64' movie. It actually followed the book pretty well with some minor changes. But I don't really like old movies like this one *shrugs*. But anywho, on to the book...

Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth, or he might as well be. Written in 1954, the story takes place in the "near future" of the 1970s, and Neville is trying to stay sane after a plague has turned the entire world into vampires. The beginning tells the monotony of Neville’s struggle for survival from day to day. Growing garlic, carving stakes, repairing his house is mostly what keeps him busy during the daylight hours. He also gets what satisfaction he can by stalking and staking the vampires in their coma-like sleep. But by night Neville must struggles with loneliness, despair, and even sexual frustration.

He still thinks of the past and mourns the deaths of his wife and daughter, all the while sticking close to his drink of choice. Even his classical music that he blares every night to drown the vampires out can't keep his loneliness at bay. But along the way he starts to conduct his own investigation into the cause of the plague. Having been a blue-collar worker at some sort of plant, Neville is no scientist. But with the library as his assistant, he is able to use science equipment and some self-taught knowledge to come up with theories on what caused this worldwide epidemic.

So the book is entirely different from the 2007 movie I Am Legend, which I'm sure is what most people have seen (if you haven't visited the link for the 64' movie already). Robert Neville finds someone, a woman, who may finally be the companion that can ease his loneliness. But Ruth may or may not be infected...Can Neville truly trust her? He spends a lot of time nursing his suspicions and doubts of Ruth. I can't say I blame him, but I just wanted to shake him and say "Stop being an idiot, trust her!" Maybe I spoke too soon...

The ending was crazy! I don't want to spoil anything. I definitely recommend buying a copy of this book or even going to the library and checking it out. The audio book was really good. Even Robertson's not-very-believable voice for Ruth grew on me =) I listened to the book in my car on my way to work, school...basically any kind of errand. I can recall smiling at parts, being totally enthralled in other parts, cussing along with the narrator, and just being totally wrapped up in the book (I had my eyes & concentration on the road at all times though, promise!!). I even found myself squeezing the steering wheel with white knuckles at one part!

I think what really made this book was the last three words of the novel... "I Am Legend" ... It put the book in perspective beautifully and really captured the gravity and mood, very different from the 2007 movie version (which I still enjoyed, I love Will Smith!)


9 comments:

Kate said...

This sounds really good :)
I heard that the book ending and film ending are different. I shall have to read the book sometime :)
Nice review.

Summer said...

great review. yeah it does sound way different. No doggie!

lilly said...

I Am Legend happens to be the only book that I have not read but watched the movie instead. Usually it's the other way around, I always read the books and then maybe I'll watch the movies.
I will have to read it soon.

Mishel said...

I hope you guys get to read it soon, or listen to it =) It's really good.

(And there is a doggie in there somewhere Summer lol)

prophecygirl said...

I LOVE this book - it's one of my all time favourites. My Dad gave me his own copy (that he bought in the 1970s) when I was about 12, because I liked Buffy and vampires. I've never looked back, and have read it numerous times.

I'm so glad you enjoyed it - it's amazing!

Kate said...

And one more thing, you have an award :)

Amy said...

wow! Amazing review. I really enjoyed the movie, and usually a book is better than it's movie, so must read this!
-amy

Ms Ulat Buku said...

I didn't realise it was broken into three too. Thanks for sharing.

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