a legendary review

Detail of the first-edition cover of 'I am Legend' (Matheson 1954)
In omega legend I argued that the infestation of the zombie-genre by the cyberpunk discourse is a further mosaic-tile in showing that said discourse gathers more and more momentum. In this Richard Matheson’s novel ‘I am Legend’ (1954) is a keystone, a pivotal point, if you will. At iamlegendarchive I just stumbled upon the very first review of ‘I am Legend,’ published in the same month as the book itself. It contains quite some water on my mills:

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. (Boucher 1954) [bold emphasis mine]

BOUCHER, ANTHONY. 1954. Review: I am Legend by Richard Matheson. Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 7(5): 98.
MATHESON, RICHARD. 1954. I am legend. Robbinsdale: Gold Medal Books.
via entry at iamlegendarchive
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