RARA-AVIS: Matheson, "Steel", and I AM LEGEND

From: Graham Powell ( bleekerbooks@hotmail.com)
Date: 05 Jan 2004

I read the original short story of "Steel" so I'm extremely disappointed to hear that the TZ episode was disappointing, especially since Lee Marvin should have been perfect for the part. (Spoilers ahead) The story takes place in a future where some more-or-less unexplained disasters mean that people are too valuable to engage in dangerous sports - like boxing, for example. A down-and-out former boxer, who now manages a robot boxer, is left in the lurch when his robot breaks down right before a match. He needs the money, so he pretends to be the robot and climbs into the ring. The atmosphere reminds me a lot of THE GRAPES OF WRATH and other Depression-era stories; Steel is willing to do whatever it takes to keep his head above water.

I AM LEGEND (more spoilers) is about a monster who creeps about while everyone else sleeps, and murders them in their beds. Sort of. Actually the "monster" is the hero, who is the last man on Earth who has not succumbed to a disease that has turned everyone else into a vampire. The novel sort of drags on, but has a nice wrap-up, where the narrator realizes that he will be the bogeyman for the new race. I personally don't think this novel deserves all the attention it has gotten, but it's not bad.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 05 Jan 2004 EST