Written by: Richard Matheson, 1954
Instrument of the Apocalypse: Pandemic vampirism
Summary: Richard Neville is the last remaining survivor of a plague that turned both living and dead into vampire-like creatures. He spends his waking hours drinking himself into oblivion, fighting for his survival against the creatures, and developing a cure for the plague — but it turns out that he’s not as SMRT as he thinks he is, and there’s something important about the vampires he hasn’t figured out yet. The ending is as bitterly ironic as anything you’ve ever heard about.
On Screen? A couple of times, as The Last Man on Earth (1954) and The Omega Man (1961). Most recently there was the 2007 version featuring Will Smith, which totally changed the ending and therefore, oh, I don’t know, MANAGED TO MISS THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE BOOK. Well played, there, Fresh.
On those cloudy days, Robert Neville was never sure when sunset came, and sometimes they were in the streets before he could get back.