I guess I should confess that I read this book mostly because of the movie. I liked the movie and especially the dog (I used to have a German Shepard). Well, the book is very different. The movie makers took just the idea of the last man among the vampires and ran with that.

Good: vampires are scary!, pacing, structure
No-so-good: –
Bad: –

Robert Neville is the last human on Earth. As far as he knows, all the other humans have been transformed into blood-sucking vampires. He lives alone in his house which he has reinforced with wood. He also has lots of garlic put around the house in order to discourage the vampires really wanting to break in. Every night the vampires come to try to lure him out of the house. They are led by Neville’s former best friend.

However, his mind has started to slowly decay because all he can do is to try to survive day after day. Both his wife and daughter have died horribly. He is doing his best to try to remain sane but it’s hard. He drinks and smokes a lot, watches movies, and reads

During the day, Neville goes around fixing thing that the vampires have broken, burning the bodies of the few vampires that the others have drained during the night, getting supplies he needs, and going into nearby houses to kill the comatose vampires there.

There are two kinds of vampires: those who had died and come back, and those that are still living but changed. All of them require blood and are afraid of crosses and garlic.

Matheson has created here a very evocative setting in a very short book. He focuses completely on Neville and what happens to him. Neville is desperate and even thinks about killing himself a few times. The short periods of hope just illuminate the hopelessness.

The vampires are very clearly just after blood. There’s nothing romantic or sexy about them. In other words, just my kind of vampires! 🙂

Excellent book.