I am Legend - does this classic from 1954 still hold up?

  • Posted on: 29 November 2019
  • By: Lore

I Am Legend Book CoverI am Legend was published way back in 1954 and it has been brought to film twice, both times starring big name actors. The first time was in the 1971 film, The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston, and then again in 2007 with the film, I am Legend, starring Will Smith. That is quite an interesting pedigree, but does the original story from over 60 years ago still hold up? It's is a horror story about the last man on Earth struggling to survive in an apocalyptic world set in the late 1970s. A plague has wiped out most people, except for Robert Neville, and the crazed infected lunatics that rule the streets after the sun goes down. Neville must take full advantage of the daylight to make sure he accomplishes all required survival tasks in order for him to get through the night. Day by day this is a never ending struggle for survival and Robert is no longer sure he can continue to win it...

If you have seen the 2007 movie of the same name then you should know that this book shares little in common with that film, so that means you can still experience this book without the plot being spoiled. Although it was written more than half a century ago I would say that it has held up pretty well and it is clear to see how this book inspired many other authors to write their own apocalyptic tales. Is it the best end of the world story ever written? Far from it, but it is still worth experiencing just for the influence it has had on the genre it helped create. It is a short story, or if you prefer to listen, a short audiobook that clocks in under 5 and a half hours. Robertson Dean does the narration and just like the story, his performance is adequate, but not great.