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The Postman, The [Paperback]

David Brin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 31 1997
He is a survivor - a wanderer who trades tales for food and shelter in the dark and savage aftermath of a devastating war. Fate touches him one chill winter's day when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker to protect himself from the cold. The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it he begins to weave his greatest tale, of a nation on the road to recovery. This is the story of a lie that became the most powerful kind of truth. A timeless novel as urgently compelling as "War Day" or "Alas, Babylon," David Brin's "The Postman" is the dramatically moving saga of a man who rekindles the spirit of America.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Gordon Krantz survived the Doomwar only to spend years crossing a post-apocalypse United States looking for something or someone he could believe in again. Ironically, when he's inadvertently forced to assume the made-up role of a "Restored United States" postal inspector, he becomes the very thing he's been seeking: a symbol of hope and rebirth for a desperate nation. Gordon goes through the motions of establishing a new postal route in the Pacific Northwest, uniting secluded towns and enclaves that are starved for communication with the rest of the world. And even though inside he feels like a fraud, eventually he will have to stand up for the new society he's helping to build or see it destroyed by fanatic survivalists. This classic reprint is not one of David Brin's best books, but the moving story he presents overcomes mediocre writing and contrived plots. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


A major motion picture from Warner Bros., directed by and starring Kevin Costner.

Critical acclaim for David Brin and The Postman:

"The Postman will keep you engrossed until you've finished the last page."--Chicago Tribune

"Brin is a bold and imaginative writer."--The Washington Post Book World --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read May 25 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wouldn't buy them if I didn't want them. Always good. Especially this author. I need to add more words so. There.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it and Read it Aug. 20 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
If all you know about this book is the Costner movie you need to clear your palate.

There is a reason this story has stood the test of time for as long as it has. It is more than a story of post apocalyptic survival or such. It is more than the struggle of people in a world where the only rule is their own. It is more than that.

This is a story of what people are willing to do, can do, and will do to act like a human being when doing so is NOT mandated by law or public perception. It is about what we do when we have to, what we do when we don't want to, and what we do when the easy choice is the wrong one.

It is an inspiring story and an excellent example of the best the genre has to offer.

I cannot recommend it enough.

I had not read it in some time (about two decades?), and when I went to do so I found I had at some point misplaced my copy. I bought this one because I wanted to read it again just that much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far better than the movie Jan. 23 2007
By J. Tupone TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Do yourself a favour and buy or borrow this book before you watch the movie. This is a great book for people who enjoy apocalyptic stories. It's a fast, easy read, but the story unfolds well. The character development is quite strong and is effective in drawing the reader into the story. The author does a good job of describing the world that the Postman is living in and how that dismal existence came to be.

I would suspect that a lot of people form their opinion of this story from the way the movie played out. The book is a much more detailed and effective story. There are more characters that are reasonably complex and believable. There are also a number of communities, or regions, that factor into the book itself and the author does a good job of explaining the dynamic of the world that the Postman is living in. In the movie, General Bethlehem notes that "this is a feudal system", but the book makes it clear that civilization (at least on the west cost of the former USA) has reverted to a more primitive form of governance, without having to come out and say it. A written story is often so much more effective than a story told through film. That is the case with this story.
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By Ronald W. Maron TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are very few Armageddon tales that are as well constructed as this one is. 'The Handmaid's Tale", the trend-setting "We" and "A Canticle for Leibowitz" while also being well done, lack the overall atmosphere created in this dystopic novel. David Brin not only creates a believable tale of the future destruction of the planet but he brings so many other concepts into it as well. Women's equal role in society, the possible dark future of technology, the innate bruteness of some of society's males, the roles that hope, responsibility, honesty and altruism play in social structure, and what is necessary to become a 'hero' in a world that needs it most. The ending, in itself, is highly realistic insomuch that we are left with hope for the future that is clouded over by the sadness of the past.

Please do not equate this novel with Kevin Kostner's movie of the same title. While both attempt to deal with the same concept, they are as different as chocolate and chalk.......
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5.0 out of 5 stars Importance of Communication April 26 2008
By K.P.
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book when I read it the for the first time 10 years ago. It's a great post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel as it shows you how the world could look after a nuclear holocaust. The world David Brin invents is interesting and believable. I recommend this to anyone who likes post-apocalyptic sci-fi books.

I should also note that the books is MUCH better than the movie! Do not judge this book on the awful Kevin Costner movie!
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is a much better story without Kevin Costner July 19 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You know, without having to look at Kevin Costner, this is a pretty good story. I haven't seen the movie, but I have read many other books by David Brin, and they've all been enjoyable, so I decided to give this one a try. It's a philosophical story more than anything else, but set in a nice post apocalyspe landscape that makes the abstract issues a little more urgent. Is it wrong to deceive people, possibly into giving their lives, if the myth you are pushing might eventually bring great benefits? Is it possible to have a system where the powerful do not abuse their power? Most impressive of all, this book avoided the standard hollywood ending, and left us wondering if there really was any hope, if the myth was really true or not. It's even aged well, unlike a lot of other science fiction books set in "futures" that are already in the past.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Postman by David Brin July 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Book Review by C. Douglas Baker
THE POSTMAN is set sixteen years after a cataclysmic event (presumably a nuclear war although there is room for speculation that it may have been some other disaster such as a large comet hitting the earth) has plunged the world to the brink of a dark age. Trying to survive in Oregon's Cascade Mountains, Gordon Krantz happens upon a run-down United States Postal Service jeep while trying to find a warm place to sleep and spends the night. Taking the leather jacket and cap off the skeleton of his unfortunate bunk-mate, with the full regalia of the U.S. Postal Service as accoutrements, and a sack full of old mail, Gordon sets off to hunt supplies. Thus begins Gordon's almost unconscious generation of a false legend.
Attempting to extort supplies from settlement in the mountains, Gordon comes up with a story about a "Reformed United States" to the east and the reorganization of a Postal Service. Using his newly acquired postal gear as props, Gordon takes upon himself the role of a "postal inspector" who has come to reestablish postal routes and "inspect" local governmental institutions. He even, luckily, comes up with a few letters from the mailbag addressed to relatives of people in the community as a ruse to bolster is story. Through this reckless prevarication Gordon weaves his way into the good graces of the people he comes into contact with, simply by being a catalyst to their nostalgic remembrance of a time when the United States was a superpower and the postal service was so reliable as to be taken for granted. Gordon's "big lie" offers hope of a return to better times.
Traveling around in this persona, Gordon lets the legend grow, even appointing "postal inspectors" in various areas as he goes along, creating a loyal cadre of "followers".
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Read the road instead
I was looking forward to another nightmare realistic version of the apocalypse this book did not deliver. Super Soilders, a computer that talks to people. Read more
Published on April 29 2009 by Reads bookman
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage...
I am an avid reader and a fan of the "post-apocalyptic" genre, but I have to say, this book is utter garbage. I only read up to the third chapter or so... Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Mathias Purtlebaugh
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Story with Decent Writing
The postman never believed he was one until he stood back and saw the effects of his lie. He was a wanderer, a man with no plan that had survived an unthinkable war ending the... Read more
Published on May 18 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars So much potential...
...wasted. It's hard to say how good a book this could have been based on the concept, but the execution was just, well, terrible. One of the best (worst? Read more
Published on April 6 2004 by Frank L. Winn
3.0 out of 5 stars Post-apocalyptic genre fiction at its most average
Brin's tale of a loner's midlife journey in a world devastated by warfare, climate change, and disease is exactly what genre-bound science fiction readers expect. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2003 by erica
4.0 out of 5 stars A postapocalyptic novel with hope.
In David Brin's postapocalyptic novel, The Postman, the civilized world has been destroyed by a brief nuclear war and the ensuing nuclear winter, diseases, and barbarism. Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2003 by C W Breaux
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