Book & Movie Review: I Am Legend

Let me start with the book shown to the right. This is the book that I read. I didn’t realize that the book also contained short stories written by Richard Matheson. When I got to what I thought was the logical end of the book, I progressed to a short story, not realizing I Am Legend had ended until I read at least a page. Boy am I a dork! Consider this another one of my menopause moments. Once I figured out that I had started reading a new story, I quickly figured out that I’d already read it. I skimmed through some more stories and realized I’d read those as well. So I got through the book pretty quick.

OK, on to my review of I Am Legend. Since I read this book shortly after watching the movie with Will Smith (Yes this was the first time I’d read it), I did have to do a comparison of the two while progressing through the book. You know how most of the time you love one and hate the other. Well I can’t say that about I Am Legend. I LOVED both! But then again, you can’t really compare the movie with the book because they are both so different.

What I loved about the book is that it wasn’t about the typical vampire. It was about one man who took on what remains of the world. In the beginning, we see Neville as an average man forced to handle a catastrophic situation, uninfected and alone. His actions become both sane and insane as the book progresses. Throughout the story, Neville goes to great lengths to both destroy and understand those infected. We might even think him heroic. But in the end he is not the hero. He is the true enemy and threat to the new society. Brilliant!

In the movie, Neville struggled with guilt, feeling responsible for the state of the world and that he was spared. He has turned his whole purpose in life into a struggle to find a cure. He is a man consumed with stopping the virus and saving humanity.

I have to say I preferred the vampires in the book. In the movie all individuality, intelligence and humanity has been stripped from the infected. Their one and only purpose is to feed, more like zombies. I’ve read criticism about the visual depiction of the infected. I assume that the infected were portrayed/visualized as they were so that the viewer was able to concentrate more on Neville’s struggles. After all, this wasn’t a Resident Evil, action/thriller type movie.

BOOK RATING: 5 out of 5
MOVIE RATING: 4 out of 5

Book Review: Mammoth Book of Best New Horror: Volume 17

Finally! A review of a horror book! Unfortunately I don’t have much to say about this book other than the stories are equivalent to those in other Mammoth Books of the Best New Horror. Pretty darn average stuff, with nothing that scared me or turned my stomach. But then again, not much scares me any more. The only story that really stood out was the first by Ramsey Campbell. Sorry I can’t remember the name of the story, and I’m too tired and lazy right now to go look it up.

RATING: 2 1/2 out of 5 (sorry, can’t quite give it 3)

Book Review: The Appeal by John Grisham

When I originally added my star rating to this book in Shelfari, I only gave it 3 out of 5 stars. Now looking back, it deserves another star.

This is the first novel I’ve read by John Grisham and I loved his writing style. I was told that he can be a bit bloated at times, but I wouldn’t put The Appeal in that category. I definitely plan to pick up more books by Mr. Grisham.

Now more about the book. Grisham does an excellent job of pointing out how fucked up our legal system can be. I have to say “can be” cause I’d still rather be on trial in this country that in just about any other country. He doesn’t really need to remind us that politics and money go hand in hand, but he does weave a story that reminds us of how sick people can be to hold on to every million or billion they have, regardless of who they hurt. On the other side he’ll get you to feel deeply for the people who are living day-to-day with constant loss of their loved ones and livelihood. This was quite an emotional book, and I loved it!

RATING: 4 out of 5

Book Review: Tales from Mistwillow

This is guna be a bit of a lame book review. I basically read this book because it contains short stories by other Colorado authors. Oh, and that the book was published by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers group, of which I’m a member and have not yet attended a gathering hosted by the group.

Okay, back to the review. What was fun about the book is that each of the authors wrote a different story about the same small town. Like most books of short stories by select authors, there were a few I enjoyed and a few not so much. It also contained a few odd and ghostly type stories, which caught my attention. All-in-all, the book was pretty good.

I think this is the first collection of short stories that the RMFW has published by members. I’m hoping they release more, but I haven’t seen any announcements for submissions.

RATING: 3 out of 5

Book Review: The Shack, by William P. Young

I love critiquing books, but I don’t feel I can review this book by providing the usual opinions on the story line, characters, grammatical structure, etc. Nor do I care to touch on whether the book threatens the theology of orthodox Christianity, a major complaint I’ve read in other reviews. Instead, I’d like to share the experience I had while discussing the book with my book club (South Denver Book Club).

In March, I had to find a number of new bestselling fiction titles for the book club to vote on for our April and May reading selections. When I came across “The Shack” I was intrigued by the book the instantly interested in reading it, so I added it to our list of candidates. I was even more enthusiastic about reading it when my fellow book club members voted “The Shack” as our next read. When I read the book, I absolutely loved it, and it became a new favorite of mine. Then the day of the book discussion arrived. Four other people, whom I had never met, joined the discussion group. We shared a morning discussing the profound affects that this book had on each of our lives. Each of us was at a different points in our spiritual journey, but that made no difference. Together we spent two hours contributing to the discuss and connecting in such a heartwarming way that we could have continued our discussion through the afternoon. I’ve never enjoyed a book club discussion group more! The book was an inspiration to us all, but best of all five people grew both together and as individuals during that morning. Any book with this sort of influence deserves notice. I highly suggest that if you do decide to read this book, read it with a friend or two, and take some time to come together to share your thoughts and experiences with “The Shack.”

RATING: 5 out of 5

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