Saturday, May 16, 2009

Book 19: I Am Legend

I will be honest, I picked this off my shelf because I am behind in the 52books in 52weeks challenge. I had. . . a quickie. I feel so cheap and dirty. And not in a good way! Week 20 concluded on Thursday (2 days ago) and I have just finished book 19. Partly sunny with a chance of FAIL.

I Am Legend is a hell of a dated read. It was written in 1954, but it takes place in the 70s. Vintage is the best descriptor for the attitudes about women and booze and nuclear war. That doesn't offend me. It's more that Matheson has a vision of the future without any projected ideas about social progress found in contemporary sci-fi. Somewhat jarring compared to the pansexual free-for-all of say, Heinlein.

So, a vampire plague has destroyed civilization and one man stands alone against the undead. What was his name again? Oh yeah! Robert Neville. I joke. Neville is referred to by name over and over and over again, despite there not really being any other humans left with whom you might confuse him. He's lost all but his identity and his will to live. The loneliness is so real that it's loud in my head. The description of feeding his daughter's body into the fire was pretty awful.

This is worth a read, if you haven't yet read it, as an exploration of loneliness and the worth of an inner life or some driving mission.

No comments:

Post a Comment