I Am Fable
is a 1954 horror novel by Richard Matheson. It follows the story of Robert Neville, the sole survivor of a disease that has killed or turned the rest of humanity into vampire-like creatures. Information technology has been adapted into 3 films:
The Last Homo on Globe,
The Omega Man
and a moving picture of the same name.
The novel’due south main character is Robert Neville, apparently the sole survivor of a pandemic, the symptoms of which resemble vampirism. The writer details Neville’due south daily life in Los Angeles, as he attempts to comprehend, enquiry, and mayhap cure the illness that killed mankind, and to which he is immune (Neville assumes this is considering he was bitten past a vampire bat who was “infected”. Because information technology was not a human, information technology did non impale Neville, instead, he became ill for a menstruum of time). Neville’due south past is revealed through flashbacks, while his emotional struggle to cope with losing his humanity is dealt with by going about a daily routine.
Every day Neville prepares for nightly sieges from a vampire horde. Neville spends the daylight hours repairing his house: boarding windows, hanging garlic garlands, disposing of vampire corpses and gathering supplies. Once darkness falls, the infected come out of hiding and lay siege to Neville’southward house. They taunt him and attempt to entice him out — he recognizes one vampire as a former friend, Ben Cortman.
After bouts of depression and heavy drinking, Neville decides to find the crusade of the disease. He obtains books and other inquiry materials from a library, and through painstaking research he discovers the root of the vampiric disease: a strain of bacteria capable of infecting both deceased and living hosts. Even so, he does not realize that the living hosts (the infected) are still inherently human, even though they exhibit all the signs of vampirism.
Neville comes across the seemingly uninfected woman, Ruth, abroad in the daylight and captures her. Subsequently the initial daze of seeing another human wears off, Neville becomes suspicious of Ruth and is skeptical of her story. He also notices that she is strongly against the killing of the vampires — he feels that if her story of survival was true, she would have become hardened to their fate, withal the two live in a wary state of tolerance. Eventually the two abound closer and i night Neville finds Ruth about to leave. Suspicious, he questions her motives, merely ends up relating all of the trauma of his by to Ruth, who attempts to comfort him and the 2 make honey. Afterwards Ruth agrees to permit him take a blood test on her the following morning, she knocks him out just every bit he realizes she is infected. When he wakes up, Neville discovers a annotation left by Ruth. In it, she tells him that the infected have slowly been able to adapt to their disease to the point where they can spend curt periods of time in sunlight and they are even attempting to rebuild social club. They fear and hate Neville since he has unwittingly destroyed some of their people along with true vampires (dead bodies blithe past the ‘germ’) during his daytime excursions and view him as a predator. In their quest to capture him, the infected sent one of their own to Neville. Ruth warns Neville in her note that her people will eventually try to capture him past force, and that he should leave his house and escape while he tin. Neville disregards Ruth’s warning, through not wishing to leave his house, and is eventually captured by an deadfall party of mercenaries used past Ruth’s society to impale any true vampires they run into.
Later his capture, Neville is held in a prison house, awaiting execution, and is visited by Ruth; she informs him that she is a ranking member of this new guild but unlike the others she doesn’t fear and hate him. She tells him she had come to his prison to try and aid him escape but that is at present incommunicable. She acknowledges the demand for Neville’s execution, and slips him pills, challenge they will “make it easier.” Emotionally broken, Neville finally accepts his fate and tearfully asks Ruth not to let this club get too savage and heartless. Ruth kisses him and leaves.
Neville goes to his prison window and gets a glimpse of all the infected milling about in the thou waiting for his execution. When they spot him, he sees the fear, awe and horror in their eyes and he understands to them he is a scourge, just as they were a scourge to him at the outset of the novel. Previously Neville saw the destruction of the infected survivors as a right and a moral imperative to be pursued for his own and mankind’s survival, but now he finally acknowledges defeat. He is the merely known immune human left in the world, the merely survivor of the “former race”.
He glimpses a future society where infection is normal and he, Neville, is a murderous biological deviant. As he turns away and swallows the pills, Neville grasps the reversal that has taken place and that just as vampires were legend in pre-infection times now he, an obsolete exemplar of old humanity, is legend in the eyes of the new race born of the infection. As his perspective shifts Neville is able to chuckle even as he dies, his last thoughts being “[I am] a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever. I am legend.”