I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

So far I have been doing write ups on books that I enjoy reading. I’m interested in the world of Scientology and of course Clarice Lispector so I have posts concerning them and I have also written posts on other books I find interesting and I think you should also consider that you may have not been aware of. Which leads me to I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. In many respects this is quite a famous book, has had a film adaptation made (albeit which diverted quite a bit from the book). So why am I doing a post on it? Well I think this book is prescient in respect to what it portrays. Fear, ignorance and (though not a virus) bacterial infections that has a massive affect on the world after war and unrest.

I Am Legend.

There are vampires in this story but it isn’t really about vampires, there is elements of science fiction with respect to a future world but this is not really about science fiction. This is more about how we see the world of Richard Neville, he appears to be in the last man alive in world full of vampires. At night they harass him in his fortified house and by day he looks out for food and other supplies and hunts the vampires. We see his loneliness and depression as he remembers his loved ones and plays his music from a different time.

As the story develops he realises that not all the vampires are ruthless killers and are upset with the fact that he is killing their loved ones. He meets one vampire he gets attached to but again it is too late. To him they were the horrible monsters to them he is the bogeyman, he has become a legend.

When I said that this book was prescient I was also referring to the fact that Neville does what he does based on his own experiences not being made aware of the thoughts of the vampires before it’s too late. That ‘not all’ vampires are mindless killers. Just like in the real world, we fear and belittle that which we do not understand. You would only have to look at the insults on social media and that some people only surround themselves with people of the same opinion creating echo chambers and refusing to even consider why some people think in a particular way. If there is anything that I have learnt from I Am Legend is that nobody what you do, you have to try and understand the consequences of your actions. Are you doing the right thing. Try to understand. As stated by a character in the book ‘I know you were just as much forced into your situation and that we were forced in ours’. We need to understand people’s reasons for doing things in order to find a better way.

[Published in 1954, this edition on Kindle by Gollancz 2010]

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones.

This is the second book I’ve reviewed of Stephen Graham Jones and there will be more to come.

Unlike The Least Of My Scars this one was a bit of a slow burner for me at first but at the end I genuinely cared for the main characters and preferring this one. A good coming of age story about wanting to fit in.

It’s essentially about a family of werewolves who have to travel trheough the southern United States to avoid any suspicion about what they are. The narrator although a part of the family hasn’t developed the traits and you begin to doubt if he will. Despite thus I do like how the family look out for one another.

Without giving too much away it is somewhat episodic in nature the way the chapters are presented

I’m glad I discovered Jones

The Least Of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones

This one took me by suprise. It’s not so much about the character himself being dangerous but more how he is used by others. Who is worse, the man who is amoral or the people who take advantage of that fact? The main character essentially gets used for his depravity.

I liked how some of the twists and revelations were presented in the book but the ending didn’t quite sit well with me.

The main character is also a Hughes ( we ain’t all that bad)

The King in Yellow by Robert W Chambers

I’m probably not the best person to review short stories I always want more of the stories that I read however I did enjoy this collection. The short stories that actually involved the King in Yellow / Yellow Sign were really good. There was a lot of potential to do more with the Yellow theme which in itself inspired HP Lovecraft and more recently True Detective

I did like the Street trilogy also but preferred the other stories.

I think The Repairer of Reputations was the best of the stories. We see the world through the narrator’s mind but still, something doesn’t seem quite right.

It’s a short book only 179 pages long.