Ok, I went out on a limb with both All the Pretty Horses and Terms of Endearmentand suggested that the movies might be better than the books. Like most book-people, I ALMOST NEVER think this is true, but for those two I could see how they might play out better on screen. I have since been informed that no, they don’t.
HowEVER, I’m going to draw a line in the sand right now and say that I Am Legend, the movie, kicks the book dead in the ass. I won’t go too much into it because the movie was so silent and eerie and awesome that it moved me to wax poetic. I want you to experience it for yourself.
But the book! This was a read-a-thon read, so I kind of want to review it in real-time. You know what? My corner of the internet, my format. So.
– The book begins. Vampires? The hell? I thought they were zombies. My bad. Hey, shouldn’t
Will Smith Robert Neville have a dog?
– Too many adverbs (jadedly?) and too much needless repetition. Also, when will there be vampires?
– Ah, here we are. Scary ones, too. All articulate, and with minds. This is why vampires are more frightening than zombies.
– Note: Flavorsome? Not a word.
– Ok, I’m kind of not buying his conclusions re: the origins of the zombievampires. This premise is wearing thinnish. I don’t need my science to be flawless (I wouldn’t know if it was), but I need something I can ignore.
– I know, I know! Last man on earth and all that. But I could use some dialogue here. All this internalizing is grating.
– I am being led by the nose! And if this doesn’t end up where Matheson is BALDLY hinting it’ll end up (which I kind of think it wont), I’m going to be pissed. It’s like when you tell scary stories to small children (not that I do, but…you know) and you’re all, He turned the knob, slowly, slowly. He opened the door, slowly, slowly, and the kids are all quivery and wide-eyed because WHAT IS BEHIND THE DOOR? Except that I’m not five. Get on with it.
– Ok, that thing that I thought would happen happened, but COME ON. Really? I think I’m going to throw something.
– Umm? I’m halfway through, and the book I was reading appears to have ended. Now I am reading a different book entirely which, three chapters in, has no relation to Robert Neville and his undead friends. Also, a doll has come to life and stolen a knife from the kitchen.
– Ok, if this is still the same book, then Matheson has totally jumped the shark. Now a man’s house is posessed by his anger, and is coming to life to kill him! Still no recurrance of zombies.
– Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! I Am Legend was just the first ‘short story’ in this collection. My bad. In the other, fairly hodge-podge and rather unfinished-seeming stories, a collection of pouty virgins witchify in the night, some futuristic teens take a trip to see the victims of some futuristic plague (because that horse isn’t dead yet), a man’s subconscious starts calling him on the phone, and a man is juju‘d by a witch doctor and the ONLY CURE is to pork another, rather more breasty witch doctor.
So, hrum. I’m totally unimpressed. I Am Legend gets four caterpillars, and the rest of the stories get a combined two. Average creeper: three.