The Dusty Den Book Club

Discussing Literature and Anything Else We Want

Ep 15 – Themes in Matheson’s “I Am Legend”


I Am Legend is a masterpiece of horror fiction that offers up a lot.  It’s a survival horror classic that inspired the likes of George Remero and Stephen King.  It runs deep with interesting themes which transcend the horror genre.  It’s the perfect book to kick off October because it’s scary, historically important in the genre, has some film adaptations, and has tons of intellectual, stimulating themes to discuss.  It’s also a short, quick read that many can knock out in an evening or two.  This work had a lot to do with bringing about the modern zombie genre.  I Am Legend, and its first, and best screen adaptation, The Last Man On Earth, predate the masterwork Night of the Living Dead, and the many zombie flicks that followed.

Although I Am Legend is a vampire book, the vampires in it are not typical.  There is a complex, scientific breakdown which examines and answers many of the classic vampire behavior questions.  The monsters are more of a vampire, zombie hybrid, and there is technically more than one type.  The vampire story is just the vehicle to explore some terrifying themes that I think initially might not seem that scary to some people… initially.

The next book will be The October Country, and it marks the end of a three podcast run on fiction.  November will bring back some non-fiction with The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan and The True Believer by Eric Hoffer.  After that I will be doing a special Christmas party episode, but it will be the only episode in December.


I referenced this John Carpenter interview in the show… enjoy!


Next Episode -The Halloween Special, discussing The October Country by Ray Bradbury

On Deck – The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan (With Dave!)

In The Hole – The True Believer by Eric Hoffer

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1 Comment

  1. Really enjoyed this episode and your description of I am Legend.
    Keep up the good work.

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