Long story short, it's an incredible horror novel completely inspiring a generation of end-of-the-world/apocalyptic stories, including the unbelievably influential George Romero (who, it should be noted, is the man who birthed the zombie craze of which The Walking Dead is the apex of the wave).
Please allow now for a quote from Matheson's I Am Legend to remind SBPDL readers of the task ahead of all us.
It's a sober, honest assessment of the situation in America in 2015, truly as haunting as the one Robert Neville - the main character of the book - faced in the fictional, post-collapse world of I Am Legend. Actually, far more frightening.
This excerpt of the book comes just after Neville has encountered a seemingly uninfected dog (a virus has wiped out much of humanity in the book), the first "living" creature he has seen in many lonely years. Though he worked hard to nurse the dog back to health, it eventually died:
Chapter 14 of I Am Legend
THERE WAS NO DEBAUCH of drinking. Far from it. He found that he actually drank less. Something had changed. Trying to analyze it, he came to the conclusion that his last drunk had put him on the bottom, at the very nadir of frustrated despair. Now, unless he put himself under the ground, the only way he could go was up.
After the first few weeks of building up intense hope about the dog, it had slowly dawned on him that intense hope was not the answer and never had been. In a world of monotonous horror there could be no salvation in wild dreaming. Horror he had adjusted to. But monotony was the greater obstacle, and he realized it now, understood it at long last. And understanding it seemed to give him a sort of quiet peace, a sense of having spread all the cards on his mental table, examined them, and settled conclusively on the desired hand.
Burying the dog had not been the agony he had supposed it would be. In a way, it was almost like burying threadbare hopes and false excitements. From that day on he learned to accept the dungeon he existed in, neither seeking to escape with sudden derringdo nor beating his pate bloody on its walls.
And, thus resigned, he returned to work.Remember: our job isn't to vote our way out of the racial despotism that is Black-Run America (BRA), of which so many Republicans keep alive by their assertion this nation is still a "Shining City on a Hill"; our job is to survive its collapse.
But you are not alone.
And the greatest fear of those in power is this undeniable fact: the number of those who feel like Robert Neville shock not only those in power, but would shock you to the core.
Those Who Can See must understand our job is to survive.
And we will.