Saturday, October 16, 2010

The first review of I Am Legend?

The November 1954 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction includes Richard Matheson's short story, "The Test," along with what is very likely the first review of his just-published novel, I Am Legend
Most rewarding of 1954's new novels this month is Richard Matheson's I Am Legend (Gold Medal, 25¢), an extraordinary book which manages to do for vampirism what Jack Williamson's Darker Than You Think did for lycanthropy: investigate an ancient legend in terms of modern knowledge of psychology and physiology, and turn the stuff of supernatural terror into strict (and still terrifying!) science fiction. Matheson has added a new variant on the Last Man theme, too, in this tale of the last normal human survivor in a world of bloodsucking nightmares, and has given striking vigor to his invention by a forceful style of storytelling which derives from the best hard-boiled crime novels. As a hard-hitting thriller or as fresh imaginative speculation, this is a book you can't miss.

1 comment:

bradleyonfilm said...

Just want to say how glad I am to see the blog active again. When you start digging into the Matheson archives, wonderful things always turn up. Thanks for the blasts from the past, here and elsewhere. Now, if only we could score a copy of that Blasetti adaptation of "The Test"...