The novella version of I Am Legend got a lot of press when the movie came out, and I recall hearing about how different it was from the movie, so I picked it up on a whim when I saw a copy at the library.
Make no mistake, this has firm grounding in pulp. The main story, I Am Legend, was apparently a standalone book from the beginning, but it feels like it’s been torn straight out of a sci-fi serial, and the rest of the stories have been directly republished from those serials. The writing shows it too, as the characters are very flat, the dialog extremely stilted, and the sentences simple, verging on boring.
But the strength of the volume is not in its writing style, but rather in its ideas. I Am Legend is interesting because of its earnest examination of the crushing loneliness and futility of a human life when the rest of humanity is gone. Other stories in the volume display similarly strong themes.
You can do better than this book, but you can certainly do a lot worse as well.