I loved the vampire book – I Am Legend. I must admit that I read the book after hearing about the I Am Legend movie of the same name. I think that it is one of the better books that I have read and is really fast paced.
Now, although I labeled it as a vampire book, it is not an exact description. When talking about vampires the first image that comes to mind is that of Count Dracula and his ilk - coming out at night and aiming at the jugular of human victims and then going back to sleep in the morning and of having special powers to hypnotize etc.
The character and plot of I Am Legend novel have a bit more realistic tune to it. The story plays out in modern LA. The world has been ravaged with a deadly infection and this leaves only one survivor. Now this person is the sole custodian of humans and what we can term as humanity.
Everyone else who is infected with the disease are inhuman because they are not civilized and because they indulge in practices such as cannibalism and come out at night to hunt and eat. In these two aspects the infected are very similar to the traditional vampires of the world like Count Dracula.
So our lone survivor in the I Am Legend tale, being all alone and always on the lookout for danger from the infected is very lonely – think of it as a kind of solitary confinement but where he is able to move about but still is alone. Because of his loneliness he gets bouts of depression and also bouts of alcohol abuse.
Slowly he decides to research and thus try to cure this infection. Earlier he used to kill anyone who was infected but he now starts to study them – killing with impunity at the same time. He lands some books and other research material from a library and works hard to understand the disease and to find a cure for it.
He discovers that it is caused by a bacterial infection. During this time he meets an uninfected female and is very much surprised to find another human being who is also unaffected. At first he is skeptical and a bit afraid but he realizes that she really is unaffected.
One day he wakes up to find that this girl is about to leave and is very suspicious of her motives and recounts his past and they comfort each other. During this period he gets the girl to give some blood for his study and realizes that the girl indeed is infected also.
When the girl realizes that he knows about his infection she beats him and leaves him unconscious. Upon gaining consciousness he finds a note that the infected people are fighting the disease and can come out in the sun for a short time. Also, they are trying to build a society again.
The note also states that the infected people are as afraid of him as he is afraid of the infected because he has killed so many of the infected people. Some of the infected people even hate him.
The note also warns that he will eventually be captured and should try to flee but he disregards the advice and is thus taken a prisoner and put into prison on a death sentence. In the cell he is visited by the girl who tells that she understands his predicament and that although some of her people hate him she does not.
The book ends with our hero saying that a new type of human has taken over and this is the next step forward and that he alone is the sole survivor of the old, known to all the newly infected and greatly feared by all – in this respect he is a hero, a legend and also the last human, as discussed in the novel, I Am Legend.
" But the world was a tomb to me, a graveyard of broken statues, and each of those statues resembled her face." -- Louis, Interview with A Vampire