Thursday, February 7, 2013

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT & Thursday Review: I Am Legend

This exists.  Now in paperback!
Hey, good news!  Thanks to badgering my "publisher" over the last few days, they finally got off their butts and released A Hero's Journey in paperback!  So all you folks who don't have an ebook reader can now enjoy it in paperback.  Right now it's only on CreateSpace but it will eventually matriculate to Amazon and possibly other sites. Again, here's the link:

It comes out to $16.58 with the shipping.  That's less than some ebooks are going for these days!  (Probably.)

 And now on with the show!


I still haven't had much time for watching new movies or TV or reading books other than my own, so here's a random old review of the book I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.  As I note in the review, other than the title and overall premise there's very little similarity to the recent Will Smith movie.

This is one of those classic books I've been meaning to get around to. When it was finally on sale for less than a buck on the Kindle, I decided to take the plunge and I was not disappointed.

I've only read one of Matheson's other books (his latest one at the time of this review) but I'm a big fan of his work on the original "Twilight Zone" and "I Am Legend" certainly has much of the same vibe as many TZ episodes.

Many "Twilight Zone" episodes (including the pilot) dealt with a lone or small group of survivors after the apocalypse. Only in this case instead of nuclear war it's a plague that gradually turns everyone into "vampires." It's important to note that in many ways Matheson's vampires are more akin to the zombies of "Night of the Living Dead" and such than the vampires in "Dracula" or especially "Twilight." These vampires cannot go out in the light and they drink blood, but they aren't super strong or super fast and they can't change into other shapes. The way they shamble around, seemingly unable to even open a door, definitely makes them closer to zombies than vampires.

Robert Neville is seemingly the last man on Earth, or at least the last man in his neck of the woods in California. After about five months he's built his old house into an impenetrable fortress that's stocked with food and has a generator for electricity. He even has a hothouse to grow garlic that helps keep the vampires at bay. Every night the vampires gather around his house, hoping he'll come out. One of his former neighbors yells at him constantly to come out while the undead women strike lurid poses in the hope of coaxing Neville from his fortress.

Most of the story then deals with Neville's survival. In particular in how he has to deal with the crushing loneliness and isolation of being the only real human left. To help combat that, Neville begins trying to understand the disease that wiped out humanity and possibly to find a cure for it.

Along the way we learn a little more about Neville's life before the plague, in particular what happened with his wife and daughter. Though still by the end the details are a little skimpy, especially where the daughter is concerned. One bit of confusion for me was that it took a while for Matheson to really establish whether Kathy was the wife or daughter and the same for Virginia.

Still, I found this a riveting, suspenseful read. Modern readers who yearn for buckets of blood and gore aren't going to find that so much in here, but it is a fascinating tale of survival in the face of great horror and adversity.

Another note is that if you saw the Will Smith film from a few years ago you should disregard that as except for the title and basic premise they don't have much in common.

(5/5 stars)

Tomorrow Box Office Blitz continues!


  1. Wasn't it also a Charleton Heston movie too? Wait, there was another one as well... I can't recall.

    Glad the book is finally out!

  2. I dunno, based on what you said about the book, that's exactly what's in the Will Smith movie.


  3. Oh! You did give me a deal on the book! Thank you, sir. I thought you were just being snarky in that email.

    1. Not a huge deal. The publisher gives me a discount of about $5 but then after you factor in shipping it's really about $1.50 off. I'm sure they make a nice profit off authors buying copies of their own paperbacks.

  4. Our son read "I Am Legend" and thought it was fantastic. He said it covered so much more than was shown in the movie. I'd really like to read it one of these days.

  5. That is great news! I would have gotten your book sooner but no e-reader yet. Besides, I can't imagine reading a good story without paper anyway ... for now at least. :)

  6. Actually, you, yes you dude, are a legend, or is that leg end. Seriously, that really is fantastic news and something in paper, that's a 'novel' idea. Shall spread the word.


  7. Awesome Pat. I like ebooks personally, but it never hurts to diversify. "I Am Legend" is one of my all-time favorite books and the movies don't even come close. It really does feel like he's going nuts and his "friend" is so creepy! I had to look up a word here and now I'm more confused than ever. "Matriculate:to enroll as a member of a body and especially of a college or university"

  8. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, they say. Congrats for being "pushy". :)


  9. AS I read this review I kept thinking of Omega Man starring Charleton Heston. They did a remake of Omega Man, but I wasn't impressed with it.

    I do like blood and gore, but like sex, it has to be appropriate.

    Glad your publisher is finally listening to you. *sighs* yes, your book is on my Kindle waiting for me to read and review it. Sorry its taking so long Patrick.




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