The Science of Vampires

Yesterday I finished reading I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Originally published in the mid-90’s, the book was recently made into a film starring Will Smith. That is how I first heard of this tale – the movie previews. I saw the movie first which is something I do not like doing. I prefer to read the book first, but since I did not know it was a book prior to seeing the movie, I didn’t have that option. I liked the movie, M. did not. The ending ruined it for him, which is what usually happens when he sees a movie – if the ending doesn’t happen the way he wanted he doesn’t like the movie.

Anyway, since I did like the movie, I decided to read the book. For me, the book was just okay. Some reviews have said that the Will Smith version of the film (apparently it the book had been adapted to film twice before) most closely followed the book version. Hmmm, if that was the closest interpretation, the others must have been quite a bit off, but anyway…

The one feature that was in both the book and the film that I appreciated was that Robert Neville, the main character, gets into the nitty gritty of why a vampire is a vampire and why certain methods of killing and repelling them works. As a fan of both the horror genre and research, this appealed to me quite a bit. What makes a vampire tick? I won’t ruin the details for those who have not ventured out to the movie or curled up with the book – just wanted to mention that was the best part for me.

While M. didn’t like the ending of the movie, I didn’t like the ending of the book. Again, no spoilers here, but the book left me feeling there had to be more to Robert Neville’s life, but there wasn’t. In any case, neither the book nor the movie are going to rate in any of my “top whatever” lists, but both were interesting in the way of the science of vampires.


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