I Am Legend

by Richard Matheson
Reviewed date: 2011 Mar 19
Rating: 4
317 pages
cover art
cover art

I Am Legend is a novel, and I rate it a 4 out of 5. It's a short novel, though, so it's packaged with some short stories.

  • I Am Legend: Robert Neville is the last uninfected human in a world overrun with vampirism. The vampires try to lure him out of his barricaded home during the night when they are strong; during the day, Robert hunts the weakened vampires and kills them with wooden stakes. Eventually, Robert himself is hunted down by a group of vampires who have established a nascent civilization, and put on trial as a serial killer.
  • Buried Talents: A patron at the carnival upsets a booth owner with his preternaturally good aim throwing ping pong balls into fish bowls.
  • The Near Departed: A small man in a Panama hat arranges his wife's funeral--who will die "As soon as I get home."
  • Prey: Amelia faces her doom when she buys an African doll possessed by the spirit of He Who Kills.
  • Witch War: Seven pretty little girls use their witch magic to defeat a conventional army of soldiers, guns, and tanks.
  • Dance of the Dead: Peggy and her new college friends go to see a Loopy--the Lifeless Undead Phenomenon that makes corpses dance.
  • Dress of White Silk: A little girl does horrible things when she opens her late mother's chest and falls under the spell of the white dress.
  • Mad House: A frustrated professor who once dreamed of being a writer is killed by his own home, which has absorbed his hatred and frustration and anger, and turns it all back on him.
  • The Funeral: Morton Silkline's latest customer at Clooney's Cut-Rate Catafalque is not strictly deceased; he's a vampire.
  • From Shadowed Places: Peter Lang is dying of a hex placed on him by an African witch doctor, and the only person who can help him is Dr. Lurice Howell, a young black anthropologist who "spent a year in a Zulu village doing field work."
  • Person to Person: David Millman hears a telephone ringing in his head. He answers it, and finds himself talking to someone--or something--from beyond this world.

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