While I was waiting for crappy Kylie Chan to arrive, I delved into some other much better sci fi/fantasy and landed upon I am Legend by Richard Matheson.
This is a great book, well worth a read. Since it was published in 1958, there are bound to be some copies in second hand book stores for a song!
Stephen King himself wrote a glowing introduction to this book and I have to agree – Matheson manages to keep upping the tension and the pace.
“When you thought it had to be over, that your nerves couldn’t stand any more, that was when Matheson turned on the afterburners. He wouldn’t quit. He was relentless.”
I was very dissapointed to read this review over at Book Covers Blog, I think you have to think a little bit about when this book was written – 1958. Sure this story of isolation amidst an end of the world type virus might seem obvious now – think 28 Days Later, Cell, etc etc but it was first.
I really empathised with the hero, he is so flawed, teetering on the brink of madness and I loved the ending – won’t say anything to spoil it but very refreshing.
You can read an extract and a bit of Stephen King’s essay here.
I found this book through the Orion/Gollancz books series, they all have great covers. I love this cover- stylish, simple and scary! The texture is also really rough and the book has rounded edges too. V old school.
The titles in the Gollancz series are:
The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin, The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, Cities in Flight by James Blish, Ubik by Philip K Dick, Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny, Gateway by Frederik Pohl and The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. (Thanks to Diary of a Phanatique)
I’ve read most, so I’ll try and add the reviews here.
One of the first books in our book club was The Forever War….thanks David!