Read I Am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson Free Online
Book Title: I Am Legend and Other Stories|
The author of the book: Richard Matheson
Edition: Tor Books
Date of issue: October 30th 2007
ISBN 13: 9780765357151
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 19.15 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1382 times
Reader ratings: 4.9
Read full description of the books:
Like Lucy, this rating is gonna take some splainin. Unfortunately, I don't have a slide show or any multi-colored pie charts to provide visual assistance on this one, so I will try to splain it as clearly as I can, but I will be using quite a few "i.e." and "e.g." to provide supporting clarification for my commentary given I am performing this review without the safety net of visual aids. Please, do not try this at home.
Oh, I've also decided to throw in the occasional word in Spanish...why you ask?....because I just watched some old I Love Lucy re-runs and am getting in touch with my inner Ricky Ricardo.
Okay, from the standpoint of pure smile-spreading enjoyment (e.g., while reading, I look down and notice my toes tapping involuntarily to the smooth, jazzy, melodic flow of the narrative), I would probably rate this 3 to 3.5 stars (i.e., there was no visible toe tapping, but I did have the occasional feeling of warmth move through my tummy....though that could've just been the tacos). Richard Matheson is a terrific writer and this story, like his others, is a quality product and I have zero complaints about the prose or the technical choices he made took in constructing the narrative.
My issue was really with the main character, Robert Neville. He just wasn't very compelling or interesting. He certainly wasn't the most engaging character I have ever come across. This is a bit of a problem since the entire book is spent lollygagging around with Robby as he provides running jogging sauntering commentary about the world around him. This was a negative for me and detracted from the number of happy units I was able to mine from the reading experience.
So why the 4.0 to 4.5 stars?
I shall splain as there are several reasons that are mucho importante (Oh, yeah...that's right, I just turned this into my first bilingual review). How cosmopolitan.
First (Primero) is the plot. This book, written in 1954, was the genesis for EVERY zombie book that follows and provides the basic framework for most of the post-apocalyptic undead fiction being produced today. Amazingly, it is also one of the best of these stories despite being the first.
Here is the basic plot or argumento: Robert Neville is the sole survivor of a pandemic that struck the world and caused the infected to exhibit all the outward signs of vampirism (vampirismo). He spends his days gathering supplies, fortifying his house and killing the sleeping “vampires” and spends his nights barricaded in his house and fending off attacks from the walking dead. Sound familiar? Well this is the book that started it all and I felt that deserved some serious recognition for both its originality and Matheson's being a trailblazer (pionero) of the zombie sub-genre.
Second (Segundo), is the world-building/back-story and Matheson's explanation of both the plague and the “vampires” which I thought was nothing short of EXCELENTE (i.e., magnifico). While certainly not good science in the sense that it can be analyzed objectively, the explanations given are compelling and superb theater. I actually wish more time had been spent on this aspect of the book because I thought it was just fantástico (i.e....if you need a translation of this, please stop reading and go put the crash helmet back on).
Third (Tercero), is the end of the book which, in my opinion, is worthy of 5 HUGE stars all by itself. I would say that goes double for the very last line of the book (which I think makes it a 10 MEGANORMOUS star ending if my math is correct). Thus, Matheson being the superb writer that he is, not only invents a sub-genre but then, over 50 years after the fact, can still claim to have written one of the best, most original examples of it. That is pretty especial, no?
Thus for all of the above reasons (motivos), I am giving the book a rating of 4.0 to 4.5 stars despite not always “enjoying” the book as much as I would have liked. However, if you haven’t read this, I would highly recommend it as I think it has a lot going for it.
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Read information about the authorBorn in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married in 1952 and has four children, three of whom (Chris, Richard Christian, and Ali Matheson) are writers of fiction and screenplays.
His first short story, "Born of Man and Woman," appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1950. The tale of a monstrous child chained in its parents' cellar, it was told in the first person as the creature's diary (in poignantly non-idiomatic English) and immediately made Matheson famous. Between 1950 and 1971, Matheson produced dozens of stories, frequently blending elements of the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres.
Several of his stories, like "Third from the Sun" (1950), "Deadline" (1959) and "Button, Button" (1970) are simple sketches with twist endings; others, like "Trespass" (1953), "Being" (1954) and "Mute" (1962) explore their characters' dilemmas over twenty or thirty pages. Some tales, such as "The Funeral" (1955) and "The Doll that Does Everything" (1954) incorporate zany satirical humour at the expense of genre clichés, and are written in an hysterically overblown prose very different from Matheson's usual pared-down style. Others, like "The Test" (1954) and "Steel" (1956), portray the moral and physical struggles of ordinary people, rather than the then nearly ubiquitous scientists and superheroes, in situations which are at once futuristic and everyday. Still others, such as "Mad House" (1953), "The Curious Child" (1954) and perhaps most famously, "Duel" (1971) are tales of paranoia, in which the everyday environment of the present day becomes inexplicably alien or threatening.
He wrote a number of episodes for the American TV series The Twilight Zone, including "Steel," mentioned above and the famous "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"; adapted the works of Edgar Allan Poe for Roger Corman and Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out for Hammer Films; and scripted Steven Spielberg's first feature, the TV movie Duel, from his own short story. He also contributed a number of scripts to the Warner Brothers western series "The Lawman" between 1958 and 1962. In 1973, Matheson earned an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his teleplay for The Night Stalker, one of two TV movies written by Matheson that preceded the series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Matheson also wrote the screenplay for Fanatic (US title: Die! Die! My Darling!) starring Talullah Bankhead and Stefanie Powers.
Novels include The Shrinking Man (filmed as The Incredible Shrinking Man, again from Matheson's own screenplay), and a science fiction vampire novel, I Am Legend, which has been filmed three times under the titles The Omega Man and The Last Man on Earth and once under the original title. Other Matheson novels turned into notable films include What Dreams May Come, Stir of Echoes, Bid Time Return (as Somewhere in Time), and Hell House (as The Legend of Hell House) and the aforementioned Duel, the last three adapted and scripted by Matheson himself. Three of his short stories were filmed together as Trilogy of Terror, including "Prey" with its famous Zuni warrior doll.
In 1960, Matheson published The Beardless Warriors, a nonfantastic, autobiographical novel about teenage American soldiers in World War II.
He died at his home on June 23, 2013, at the age of 87
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