I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
I Am Legend is the modern vampire story and the basis of many film adaptations. It’s a short novel but perfectly constructed. From the opening sentence, Matheson creates a world of tension and keeps ratcheting it up. The book is also surprisingly scientific: our protagonist becomes a self-taught scientist who delves into molecular biology and chemistry as he tries to understand his current situation.
In short, it’s a fantastic read. Highly recommended. And if you’ve seen the Will Smith movie, be warned the ending is quite different and gives true meaning to the title “I am legend.”