Re: RARA-AVIS: I AM LEGEND, Richard Matheson

Date: 28 Nov 2003

-----Original Message----- From: Michael Robison <> Sent: Nov 28, 2003 8:45 AM To: Subject: RARA-AVIS: I AM LEGEND, Richard Matheson

"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."

Which "subtext" is this? With Matheson it seems that paranoia is central, whatever the story at hand. Maybe it's the vampires themselves that are "incidental" detail.

I've read the Matheson and I'm reasonably fond of it. I even have childhood memories of seeing the end of the Salkow/Vincent Price version of it in the movie-theater. Never got past 30 minutes of the Heston version on TV.

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 We really should have a hardboiled/noir science fiction month.

I'm entirely in favor of that.

The first two titles it occurs to me to recommend:

Greg Bear's "Queen of Angels," Alfred Bester's "The Demolished Man."

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"Anyway, I've rarely been so disappointed in a bona fide classic. The characters [in the "Illiad"] are ridiculously childish, and the plot just wanders all over the place (Hey... I think TM mentioned that, didn't he?)."

What a shame that Homer didn't live up to the standards set by Richard Prather ...


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