It's been ages since I've picked up a scary read. Well, January actually, since I read Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill. While I used to read the scaries all the time growing up, I've let them fall off over the past 10 years or so. Now, when I do dive into creepy reading it's all the creepier.
I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson, is one of those classic horror novels I've had my eye on for ages, and Lesley was kind enough to pass along her copy a while back. I've resisted seeing the movie version until now, because I just had a feeling it couldn't hold a candle to the original, and having read the original I doubt I'll ever see the film.
Robert Neville is a heck of a smart guy. Trapped in his house during the nighttime hours by vampires, he spends the daylight exterminating the undead and killing off the living who have fallen prey to the mysterious plague that will ultimately turn them into bloodsuckers. To his knowledge, he's the only human left uninfected by the plague, and he fashions his house into a bastion and begins to study the strange illness that's claimed the rest of humanity. He has lofty hopes of understanding the illness, finding a better way to kill the vampires, and possibly a way to cure the sick.
This is one of those novels that truly disturbed me in parts. It wasn't Robert's killing or anything like that, and it wasn't gorey, but the utter sense of claustrophobia created by his nighttime hours trapped in the house. The writing was really nice, and it certainly kept me interested straight through the novella.
I actually had no idea until I received the book that the I Am Legend story itself is a novella, a very short 117 pages, and I really wished it'd been longer so I could drag it out a while. I haven't been as thrilled with the other stories included in this book, and I have a few left to go, so we'll see how it turns out.
I knew very little about Matheson until I picked up this book, just that he wrote the original novel that one of my favorite movies was based on, What Dreams May Come. I'm also tickled to see that he wrote the novel, Stir of Echoes, which I will probably have to read now since I loved that movie, too.
It's good to be reading and saloning again!! Today will be a relatively busy one. I need to get lessons posted for my online classes, and I'm playing hostess at a cousin's baby shower this afternoon. Think they'll mind if I sneak away to read a scary story or two?
This book is my first read for Carl's RIP III Challenge.