I am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954)
“The vampire was real. It was only that his true story had never been told.”
Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth . . . but he is not alone.
An incurable plague has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him.
By day, he is a hunter, stalking the infected monstrosities through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn….
Richard Matheson’s novel is one of the greatest and most important vampire stories ever written and its influence on the horror genre has been profound, mainly on the zombie genre and in popularizing the concept of a worldwide apocalypse due to disease. This is the pioneer work that later inspired George Romero’s “Night Of The Living Dead” and Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot”. I Am Legend has been adapted to a feature-length film four times, (The Last Man on Earth, 1964; The Omega Man, 1971; I am Legend , 2007 and I Am Omega, 2007) neither of these came close to the quality of the novel. The powerful sense of isolation is second only to the powerful moral twist of the book’s finale, when Robert is forced to recognise his position in the new world order. A great twist on the old vampire story and highly recommended!