Saturday, August 25, 2007

I Am Legend




After THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, the above book is next on the list. During the week, we had several gloomy days of sticky rain, perfect weather for what is essentially a quick read. (I have a newer edition that includes other short fiction, the Gold Medal edition I have will disintegrate on contact with the air and is signed by Mr. Matheson. I last read this book about fifteen years ago, and I've come to realize that, even though I credit Dennis Etchison as my mentor, I have learned to craft my later work the way Matheson lays down his words, each paragraph a brick, each sentence the cement. I'll never write a damn thing as good as this man, but re-reading this book has made me realize that, at the very least, I have gotten better when it comes to stories I write that needed telling. After this book, for those who care about my list of favorites, I'd go with Jack Finney's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Robert Neville and Miles Bennell have a lot in common....Wayne

4 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I read this along with the other collected stuff in the new edition just last fall. It's pretty good, although I didn't think it was his best writing. His short stories are more my cup of tea. Some good ideas in it, though. I also read "Hell House," which was in the same collection. It's very graphic and sexy for the time.

G. W. Ferguson said...

Let's be blunt--Richard Matheson is a GOD! I read I Am Legend, oh geez, a gazillion years ago after seeing the Vincent Price film version, The Last Man on Earth, and am SO happy that all is stuff is being reprinted!

Michelle Pendergrass said...

I just read your post at Storytellers, decided to hop over here to check things out since we're neighbors.

I just finished To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time (why I waited so long I'll never know) I'm not sure how many books out there are better. I might have to pick up I Am Legend.

I've never read Matheson.

HemlockMan said...

Ah. I AM LEGEND and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Paranoia has no better pals than those two novels.

Of course they're probably going to knife Paranoia in the back when he's not looking...