October 27, 2010

The "I Am Legend" Vampire

So we have already read a lot of vampire novels so it's more interesting to compare the differences. I have seen the movie "I Am Legend" and I honestly never thought of them as vampires so this book and the similarities to vampires that the monsters have came as a big surprise. What I especially find interesting is the classic vampire myths that Matheson incorporates into the book. For example:
"...the cracked mirror he'd fastened to the door a month ago. In a few days, jagged pieces of the silver-backed glass would start to fall off. Let 'em fall, he thought. It was the last damned mirror he'd put there; it wasn't worth it. He'd put garlic there instead. Garlic always worked." "I Am Legend" (pg. 13-14)
This paragraph completely surprised me. I couldn't believe the common vampire lore Matheson was using. Then there's also the fact that they can't come out in the sun, they still talk and seem intelligent, among other things. It seems very different from the movie.

One thing I did notice is the similarities "I Am Legend" has to Twilight. When I first read Twilight it was very hard to get used to the differences from the vampire stories I was used to. The main part that was hard was that if the vampires in Twilight bit a human that was all they needed to do to change them into a vampire; a point that was very prevelant to the story. Now that I'm reading Legend I am wondering if this is where Stephenie Meyer got the idea from.

This book also reminds me a lot of the Sookie Stackhouse novels for one reason.  In I Am Legend the vampires are described more as people suffering from a disease and that is exactly how the vampires describe themselves when they make themselves known to the public.  All these random similarities that the newer vampire novels share with the classics makes it seem like that is where the new writers got their ideas from.
Overall I'm really excited to read this book now and maybe even make some comparisons to the movie since they already seem pretty different.


  1. I like what you wrote hear. It is also interesting in how there are so many books on vampires and yet they are different in some way. That they seem to either create their own agenda as far as how vampires react to devices meant to kill them or how different the legend of killing them are. I had never seen this movie I actually thought it was about robots of some kind. But just seeing that Will Smith played the character of Robert Neville shows that the book may be a lot different in the movie since in the book Robert is described as being a white man. Interesting take on the reading!

  2. I don't think that the vampire aspect of the movie was that different. It still followed the no going out in the dark bit, mostly. And in the movie all of them are like the zombie-like ones the book references. However, I think that the major difference was in Neville. Neville in the movie is more of human I think than the Neville in the book. In the movie he has a companion, and his family weren't killed in front of him. But in the book there is more of a tragic back story to his life before we meet him. I think that the depth the book provides makes the story much richer. I know that movies can't copy the book exactly, but I think that the script writers really should've kept more to Matheson's version of Neville because it's more realistic given what happened to him.

  3. I guess the main thing that surprised me was the garlic, mirrors, stakes, and all the vampire stuff that you really saw in Dracula that was incorporated in this book. When I saw the movie I saw the monsters as exactly what you said; zombies. I did not view them as vampires at all, it never even crossed my mind; even with the fact that they couldn't come out in the light.