I am Legend

I am Legend pulled me in from the beginning. It was well written and gave us an in-depth view of what it could be like to lose everyone you loved to something so small.  It felt like I was right there with Robert Neville walking beside him and experiencing everything he did. At times I felt like I could lose control because we are lead on this deep internal journey through Neville’s mind.

 

There were a few of things in the book that drove me nuts. When Neville first met Ruth, I understood the mistrust. It seemed odd that anyone would cross an open field in broad daylight unarmed. In the world they lived in being armed at all times is a must. At that moment, Neville show’s us that no matter how used you become to your surrounds you will always crave and want what you used to have. I could feel the desperation he had when he was trying to reach her. It was worse than when he tried to tame the dog so he could have someone with him.

 

That night Ruth and Neville held each other was one of the most touching scenes in the book to me. We get a glimpse at his former life but nothing as up close and personal as the embrace they shared. I felt there was more feeling and emotion at that moment with Ruth than his memories of Virginia and Kathy. With his wife and daughter, he held back because the pain was too much. I wanted him to have someone to be with so he wasn’t alone, but in the end, I knew that wouldn’t be the case.

 

 

Neville resigned himself to stay after he had been warned by Ruth to leave. I sat there screaming at him to go and hoping Ruth would be able to convince her people to leave him alone. I knew that wouldn’t happen, but still, I hoped. Throughout this entire novel, there is this glimmer of hope that you try to hold on too. First the dog and then Ruth. In the end, it’s taken all away. How naïve could Neville had been when he decided to wait for them. It was the anomaly the minority. They feared what he was but funny enough he is what they all were. Neville stood as a reminder of what they used to be and had to forget.

 

I completely hated the end of the novel and not because it was poorly written or anything like that. I hated the ending because at that moment with Ruth came in there was that last glimmer of hope. That maybe she had come to her senses and saw that what her kind was doing was wrong. You sit there and hope she will help him escape but instead she gives him a pill to dull the pain. Worse yet Neville doesn’t even try to escape or convince her to help him run. There are so many more things he could have done to save himself, but in the end, I feel like he was tired. It was hard to sit there and see that his only way out was death. He would be forever alone in a world of people who used to be just like him.

3 thoughts on “I am Legend

  1. The past seems to be a major theme in the novel that I hadn’t really realized until reading your review. Neville is tortured by the past in a lot of ways. Not only by the trauma of losing his wife and daughter, but also losing the society belonged to before the vampire outbreak. In juxtaposition to this is this new society that is trying to kill the past. Perhaps Matheson is advocating for dealing with the past in a less polarizing manner. Instead of being obsessed with it or trying to kill it, we should learn from it and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Louise,
    Great comments! I agree that the embrace between Neville and Ruth is the emotional climax of the book, and what happened afterwards was gut-wrenching. I thought that after the dog died Neville liked being alone and had accepted his life, such as it was. Maybe the reason Ruth’s arrival upset him so much was that he sensed that it spelled the end of his old life, one way or the other. Which may be one of the reasons he wanted to kill her. And before he got to know her, part of him really did want to kill her.

    I agree that the book is sort of sadistic in that it does keep holding out that glimmer of hope, only to snatch it away. I also agree there’s no way Neville and Ruth could have been together. He killed Ruth’s husband, kept her prisoner in his house and would have killed her if he couldn’t ‘cure’ her. It is sad, but by that point it seems like there was too much distrust and anger between humans and the infected for them to ever live together.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought the story as a whole was incredibly sad, full of grief and loss. The absolute worst moment for me was… a week later the dog was dead. How awful. I had hoped for Nelville—hoped he’d made friends with the dog. Although, I must say I didn’t hold must hope when Ruth appeared. I think that the author was broadcasting that everything about her, about her situation, her being there was wrong. For a spy, she didn’t say the right things, or do the right things. I thought it was obvious that she would betray him and she was not telling the truth. I think this is an area where the story could have become more interesting and gut-wrenching given the ending. In my opinion, Matheson missed an opportunity to twist the knife in the main-character’s and the reader’s gut.

    Liked by 1 person

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