woensdag 26 augustus 2015

Richard Matheson: I Am Legend


I got this little beauty at the Boekenfestijn. It has 3 pages introduction by Richard Morgan, 160 pages of story and 2 pages afterword by Stephen King.

“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 civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.
How long can one man survive like this?”

My word I loved this. 
And considering the time this was written (1954) this must have been one hell of a change.

It’s like reading the diary of the last man on earth. The loneliness and isolation seep through the whole novel. The way he lives and fills his days are utterly brilliant and sad.
But most of all, this is one amazing novel, absolutely haunting and terrifying. I could hear them, see them and I could smell the garlic.

The prose just does the job; it’s nothing fancy or elegant but straight to-the-point.
The setting and characterization of Robert are terrific though.

And so much better than the movie!

There are some minor points however. The science behind it isn’t completely sound living/dead vampires, they can’t abide the sun but even in darkness they are dead to the world. But hey, I won’t complain; it’s a short novel and it’s SFF so I don’t expect to understand everything behind it. I don’t need to either.

Highly, highly recommended.