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The Postman Mass Market Paperback – Nov 3 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; Reprint edition (Nov. 3 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553278746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553278743
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.3 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #170,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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.


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

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Top Customer Reviews

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 Brent L TOP 500 REVIEWER on 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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brin's novels tend to be "simply" stories. His short stories almost always have an element of the mythic and moral to them. For this reason, The Postman always seemed strange to me: it is mythic and definitely has a moral. I tracked out the first edition and learned why: the book started life as a novella. If this is the result, I wish Brin would make more of his short stories into books.

Humankind did not blow itself up, it sort of sputtered most of the way there -- with a couple of nukes, a couple of biological weapons, and a big push from those descendents of gun-nuts, the survivalists -- and stopped. The main character combined the survival instinct of postWar types with the wonder and intellectualism of the preWar types. He is wandering the US, looking for something. In the end, he himself creates what he has been looking for -- someone who is taking responsibility, who is creating something greater than himself or his village.

The mythic and the moral emerges towards the end of the book, and it is for this element that I take this book to my desert island. It becomes a fight between good (those who will take responsibility, however unwillingly) and evil (the survivalists, who won't), unexpectedly involving preWar science and philosophy. The forming of the US after the Revolution, the thoughts of Ben Franklin, and the legend of Cincinatus (look it up, it's worth knowing) are the pegs upon which Brin hangs his moral tale.

And, as always, Brin has written a simply good book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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. Set in what used to be Oregon, remnants of civilization exist in small independent towns inhabited by survivors and their offspring eking out a living through agriculture and trades.
Gordon Krantz is a lone wanderer, surviving by moving from village to village as a storyteller and minstrel. He finds a dead postal worker's skeleton in the woods and co-opts his clothing to stay warm. With the bag of postage, he hits upon a scam of representing himself as a postal inspector of the "Restored United States," sent to establish post offices in each town and re-establish mail service. He is surprisingly embraced everywhere he travels because of people's thirst for community and communication... and hope. He unwittingly becomes a victim of his own scam and is reluctantly thrust into a leadership role in reuniting Oregon, and by implication the rest of the nation in the future. Along the way, he discovers the way each town coped with the aftermath of the war, makes various friendships, falls in love, and leads the war against the rogue survivalists from the south.
I quite enjoyed this novel and found it uplifting in the message of a regular man who had greatness thrust upon him and came to realize that he had to take responsibility. The movie, starring Kevin Costner, is also good but diverges a good bit from the book, especially in the second half. As is often the case, the book is better.
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