The Postman Mass Market Paperback – Nov 3 1997
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
interesting idea about end of days and how things could evolve in the futurePublished 5 months ago by may777
I quite liked this post-apocalyptic book -- much better than the movie (isn't the book always better than the movie?).Published 17 months ago by Elizabeth A
An interesting little read, the film version does this book no justice.Published 20 months ago by AJ
I wouldn't buy them if I didn't want them. Always good. Especially this author. I need to add more words so. There.Published on May 25 2014 by Paul Mayall
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... Read morePublished on Dec 8 2011 by Ronald W. Maron
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 morePublished on April 29 2009 by Reads bookman
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... Read morePublished on April 26 2008 by K.P.