30 Day Book Challenge // 11

Favourite classic book.

I Am Legend Richard MathesonI have to admit I really haven’t read many classics, I have many on my shelves but none have been read yet. But I think I would say I Am Legend by Richard Matheson is one of my favourites though I’m not sure if it is even considered a classic.

Matheson goes to great lengths to rationalise the vampire myth, transplanting the monster from the realms of folklore and Victorian supernaturalism to medical inquiry and rational causation. Though the assailants are described as “vampires”, and their condition is transmitted through blood there is little similarity between them and traditional vampires from gothic novels.

However I Am Legend was massively influential in the development of the zombie genre and popularised the concept of a worldwide zombie apocalypse due to disease. Although that idea has now become commonplace, a scientific origin for zombies was fairly original when written. And that makes it a classic to me.

Thanks for reading.
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12 Responses to “30 Day Book Challenge // 11”

  1. Leila

    I’m in agreement with you on the book’s ability to popularize the concept of zombie apocalypse due to disease. However, I don’t know if the creatures in I Am Legend can be considered zombies. I am a purist, I guess. Hell, most zombie movies these days don’t qualify as zombies to me. I’m all about the reanimated dead lurchers, not runners, not “vampire-esque” reanimated dead. That is the only element that really bothers me. Everything else about the book is awesome.

    • bluchickenninja

      Oh yeah. The creatures in I Am Legend are definitely not what you would consider a zombie nowadays. But they aren’t vampires either. Even though they act like vampires (and Dracula is mentioned) they only act that way because the virus makes them think they are vampires. Its super interesting.

      And you are totally right about vampires in movies. I think they are only “runners” because slow zombies would be really boring in an action movie. World War Z would definitely not be the same if the zombies were slow.

  2. Michael

    I haven’t read any zombie fiction. I do like horror but primarily in the Vampire genre. I enjoy ghost stories as well, particularly the book by the same name–Ghost Story–by Peter Straub. Something about revenant spirits . . .. I read The Exorcist when it first came out in paperback back in the 70s and by the end of the book I had every light on in the house and stayed locked in my bedroom–I read it in one sitting.


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