RARA-AVIS: I AM LEGEND, Richard Matheson

From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 28 Nov 2003

I am continually amazed at all the classics that I've never heard of. I understand this is one of them. If it's got to be slotted into a genre, it might more fittingly be called horror because of the vampire theme, but I'd have to give it at least an honorable mention in the hardboiled and noir category. It's a very short book with a lot of impact. It manages a significant subtext without overwhelming the story. One of the things I found interesting was how it effectively developed noir themes even with the protagonist being the last man on earth.

We really should have a hardboiled/noir science fiction month. I've read very little of Ray Bradbury.
 I think I'd dig into his stuff that month. Plus that Tim Powers novel I've got.

Incidentally, I've worked my way about half way through Homer's Iliad. I think it probably has relevance to hardboiled/noir origins, so I count it as worth mentioning. Anyway, I've rarely been so disappointed in a bona fide classic. The characters are ridiculously childish, and the plot just wanders all over the place (Hey... I think TM mentioned that, didn't he?). Homer's editor sucked.



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