Monday, April 29, 2013

I Am Legend (revamped!)

I was very interested in reading I Am Legend, having seen the movie adaptation of the novel. I was pleasantly surprised to find, from what I read, that the book and the movie are different enough to be two similar, but stand alone stories. I Am Legend was an incredibly influential short horror story, that changed the vampire genre. He takes the old vampire myth, and adds a twist of science fiction to it.

I am Legend is a novel that I wanted to continue to read (it's not a long read. Can be done in one sitting). There is something about it that had me hooked. I'm not sure if it was the easy to follow, simple, but interesting way it's written, or the need to know the fate of the character. Since Robert Neville is the only character (live character, anyways), we get to delve into his innermost thoughts and feelings. We are completely immersed in his everyday life. His situation is so alien, and unthinkable to us, but to him it's just his normal routine. I think the fact that the scenario is so outlandish and unthinkable makes I am Legend such an interesting read for me. It also may be that I am attracted to stories about other peoples misfortune.

I could see people feeling that the book is a little slow paced, or boring, but I feel like the story may not be for everyone. Just the fact that I am aware of the vampire-zombie's, and the destruction they can cause was enough for me to not be bored by the build up. I was always anticipating something. Waiting for a big, exciting event. I was hanging on the simplest words. There's something about it that just kept me hooked, wanting to delve deeper into Nevilles past, his daily life, the reason for the vampirism.

The story alludes to the use of biological warfare as the cause of the Vampirism outbreak, although no real reason is deeply explored. Neville attempts to give some insight, explaining some of the scientific reasoning for the outbreak, a bacterium he calls vampirus. Neville also connects and believes that the Black Plague could have been caused the an outbreak of the same bacteria. The fact that an abnormal approach to the cause of vampirism was used in this novel was really interesting to me.

Overall, I really enjoyed I am Legend. I can see why many horror authors hold this story to high esteem. It's a fresh take on a classic myth. It was new, interesting, and gripping, but not too over the top. I would definitely recommend this story to another.

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