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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it and Read it
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...
Published 8 months ago by Brent L

versus
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. The protagonist, Gordon, is an intellectual male whose resourcefulness has helped him adapt to a world whose institutions have collapsed and whose people live in tiny, scrabbling communities. He traverses the...
Published on Jan. 25 2003 by erica


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4.0 out of 5 stars A Definitive Post-Nuke Book, Dec 8 2002
By 
Jason N. Mical (Kirkland, WA, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Postman (Mass Market Paperback)
Before SF novelist David Brin became known as one of the "Killer Bs" of 80s and 90s SF, he penned a serial novel called "The Postman," a post-apocalyptic romp through the Williamette Valley in Oregon. Set in an area dominated by militias, survivalists, and the kinds of folks who like to blame Jewish people and blacks for America's troubles, Brin lampooned the typical, gutsy, survival-of-the-fittest attitude in post-apocalyptic (PA) fiction, creating a unique blend of adventure story and important moral lesson. In an interview, Brin said that most PA fiction revels in the downfall of civilization, creating a kind of macho paradise which would be great if you were a gun-toting conservative white male. For everyone else, it would be hell, and that is exactly what "The Postman" tackles.
Fifteen years after the Doomwar, a combination nuclear, biological, and chemical exchange between the US and an unknown enemy, Gordon roams the landscape looking for a cause to follow. The largest organization in this atmosphere are a loosely-organized militia-army, who follow the teachings of the deceased Nathan Holn, a racist whose beliefs about life and freedom were a mix of Ayn Rand, David Duke, and a badly warped Charles Darwin. Gordon, a college-educated thinking man, wants nothing to do with the militias, but is inadvertantly forced into acting when bandits steal his clothes and he is forced to dress as a postman and invent a story about the Restored United States to get some food.
On his way, Gordon meets towns wallowing in drugs and violence, paranoid people so scared by oppression they trust no one, and an organization seemingly controlled by a computer artificial intelligence. When the militias begin attacking the Williamette Valley in far greater fervor, Gordon begins to organize the resistance, aided in part by George Powhatan, an organizer who has begun to rebuild civilization in his own way.
"The Postman" makes clear that the downfall of civilization would not be a good thing, especially if you happened to be a woman, or black, or anything else not conforming to the WASP-militia stereotypes. Aside from a good adventure story, Brin's book bucks convention and treads new groud, providing an obvious stepping stone for later SF novels in the genre like "The New Madrid Run" and "The Rift." The prose can be rocky, but given "Postman" was published serially (and wasn't necessarily aspiring to high literature), this can be overlooked for the far more positive points of its content.
Final Grade: B-
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, good read, Nov. 10 2002
By 
atmj (Rochester, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Postman (Mass Market Paperback)
Having not seen the movie, I was not sure to expect. It is a very well written book and keeps your interest from beginning to end.
SMOOTH WRITING CONTRUCTS THE WORLD:
This being my second David Brin book, my first was Kiln People, I amazed at his writing. As a sci-fi buff so often the description of the "world" the novel takes place in is cumbersome. There are explanations of the situation, technology and social structure that weigh down most sci-fi stories. David Brin has a wonderful way of weaving this into his stories so they are part of the dialogue or the unfolding scene. Trust me, this makes reading his books effortless. I found this to be true in Kiln people as well.
A TALE OF A DRIFTER:
The story takes place after society is recovering from a major war and social upheaval. Gordon the main character is a drifter moving West to find a better place to live. He is a older survivor, so he knows of the times before the big war and society fell apart. He is accosted by some locals in his travels and while planning to retrieve some of his belongings happens upon an old mail truck. Here he realizes that the world fell apart a bit differently than he supposed and in acquiring the wardrobe of the hapless dead postman, he has taken on the mantle of that title.
HOW HOPE CAN BE GROWN:
The rest of the story is how Gordon continues his travels from town to town and the saga of the postman is begun. Some of it is driven by its own momentum. Some of it is driven by Gordon's imagination. Mostly it is interesting how a theory can help hope form and become self perpetuating. Here the Postman becomes the icon of a world that is gone. Maybe just maybe, it can be rebuilt.
IT IS ALL SO PLAUSIBLE:
Ironically, when you read of how the world fell, you can see where we have this potential. It is all so plausible. We have the elements in today's society to create this very same mess.
David Brin does a nice job working from that and from the hopes that could rebuild that.
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4.0 out of 5 stars And I thought the movie was good!, Sept. 21 2002
I can't believe I never read this book after seeing and kinda liking the movie itself.
Of course, the book is far superior in just about all ways as far as characters and storyline.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Life After the Doomwar, July 9 2002
This review is from: The Postman (Mass Market Paperback)
The main criteria for judging a recreational novel like THE POSTMAN is whether or not it kept the pages turning. This one did, which is why I finished it, and which is why you are getting to read this fine review. David Brin offers up a vision of life in the near future after the Doomwar and the ensuing anarchy has destroyed civilization as we know it. What remains is a healthy scattering of small communities struggling to survive the chaos.
Some of the survivors are would-be tyrants; the rest of them are decent, but cowed folk who try to get along. You can guess who gets the better end of the deal. The novel follows Gordon Krantz, one of the decent, but unusually strong guys as he tries to navigate the bleak landscape. He stumbles upon a Postman's uniform, and accidentally discovers that he can trade dreams of a restored United States back East in exchange for food and lodging. The question of the novel is whether the myth Krantz is offering is enough to get the decent folks to come together and throw off the tyrants.
The writing is not terrific, but the action unfolds at a good pace. We are drawn into Brin's world enough to care about how it all turns out. Along the way, Brin invites us through a meditation about the foundations of civil society. His main question is how a "civilized" guy can exercise violence against the tyrants, without becoming one of them. In Brin's vision, the women who live among the despots are treated despotically, and his insight is that genuine civilization depends, in some way, on the strength of women. What he lacks is any good vision of how that necessary feminine strength can be used to civilize the men, and so the end of THE POSTMAN falls flat. My guess is that Brin's failure simply reflects our own society's inability to really understand the nature of feminine strength. Still, give Brin credit for seeing that it is a question.
THE POSTMAN is a fine way to while away a few hours at the beach. It might even cause you to pause and muse over a few ideas in the shower, before the whole thing washes away and you move on to your next good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Postman Rocks, May 8 2002
By 
yoyo (Honolulu, HI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Postman (Mass Market Paperback)
What I find so amazing about this book is how well it relates to current times. one of the main themes in the book is holding together and standing up for our country as well loving our neighbors and sacrificing for things much bigger than any of us. especially after september 11 United States Citizens must pull something from the ashes, must try to right what has been wronged, must hold together for country and the the things we stand for, this is what this book embodies. I strongly encourage everyone and anyone to read this book; it is an experience that will never be forgotten.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great!, April 5 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Postman (Mass Market Paperback)
Anyone who saw the movie and thinks they know what happens now so the novel is ruined for them, or who disliked the film for its cheezy and epic required dramatic music etc. (I loved it myself!) shouldn't be put off reading the novel! Although the theme of hope and the symbol of a postman beginning to reunite a nation is the same, (and the occasional character or event) essentially it is completely different...
Brin's writing style is enjoyable but not constantly completely engrossing like Michael Marshall Smith (amazing sci-fi writer!)or Anne Rice, for example, but the imagination and scope and detail, the characters and ideals and events that he describes are so real - he really recreates the whole world (well, the US anyway) post-apocalypse and its very believable. Towards the end I was completely enraptured in the events and its a great book!
If you've seen the film dont be put off when you're reading by thinking you know what happens next, go into it with an open mind because what happens is almost completely different...
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5.0 out of 5 stars It helps to keep the home fires burning., Feb. 8 2002
By A Customer
This is post nuclear war story writing the way it should be done. If we stuck solely with Mad Max we would realy be in trouble. If you enjoy a really good read this is for you even if you are one of those who generally doesn't read science fiction. This one is one of the best entries you will ever find. And if you haven't seen the movie with Kevin Costner yet do so. In some ways it is even better than the book is if that is ever possible with Hollywood. The script is very well written and the acting is superb.
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3.0 out of 5 stars bring on the mail, Jan. 6 2002
By 
This review is from: The Postman (Mass Market Paperback)
this is an ingenius plot....a character to get behind is very much welcome, here it is Gordon Krantz...such an interesting idea, with villains that you actually dislike and you have yourself a good read...ive read this book twice now, and loved it both times...i just love the whole idea of moving the capital of the restored US to St. Paul...and how Krantz plays the role of government worker...this is an excellent book, well written, with a very interesting idea...worth the price at a bookstore? for me it was, others may be better off with a quick pickup at the library, because this is one of those books that you love or you hate
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Who will take responsibility?", Dec 4 2001
By 
Pablo Iglesias Alvarez "Glossu" (Mexico City, D.F. Mexico) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Postman (Mass Market Paperback)
David Brin's The Postman uses the post-holocaust type of novel to send several relevant messages among them: the importance to take social responsibility, the urgent need of hope and the value of things that we usually take for granted.
Brin's novel might not be brilliantly written, and it certainly doesn't have any kind of epic scope. Indeed its scope is quite locally limited and the writing is simple and straight-forward. Nevertheless, the brilliant idea of a made-up Postman bringing new light into a broken country and the weight of the messages that are delivered makes this book a fine read to be recommended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars good story, BUT..., Sept. 22 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Postman (Mass Market Paperback)
David Brin's concept is truly remarkable, and his plotting is superb. This is a wonderful story.
But in the end, the verdict on this book is the same as the verdict on the Kevin Costner film that takes its name: With such a good story, there's no excuse for "The Postman" to be as bad as it is.
Brin's technique, his craft, betrays his own vision. At best the prose is serviceable; more often, it is an excruciating thing to read. The "Damn you"s that constantly bounce around in Gordon's brain are straight out of the worst community theater's Shakespeare festival.
Would you like to know why so few people will rightly call science fiction legitimate literature? This is why: most science fiction writers, like Brin, just can't write--and some of the worst, including Brin, are given the most glorious "literary" prizes. Any serious critic would laugh out loud at this book's Nebula Award; the award doesn't compliment this book so much as this book incriminates the award.
It is true that many science fiction writers have brains as active as any writer of "serious" fiction. But only a few in the history of literature could be trusted to transfer those ideas well to paper. Read Ted Sturgeon and Kurt Vonnegut for real reading, and then read this and other Nebula Award-winners if you want reading that is imaginitive but atrociously written.
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The Postman
The Postman by David Brin (Mass Market Paperback - Nov. 3 1997)
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