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The Postman by David Brin
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The Postman (edition 1997)

by David Brin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,810602,072 (3.7)1 / 162
Member:dandelionroots
Title:The Postman
Authors:David Brin
Info:Spectra (1997), Edition: paperback / softback, Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction

Work details

The Postman by David Brin

  1. 80
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (Karlstar)
    Karlstar: Not a similar plot, but a classic book about a post-apocalyptic civilization.
  2. 40
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (redroc)
  3. 20
    Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling (MikeBriggs)
  4. 20
    Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Although the language is very different the themes are similar
  5. 00
    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (sturlington)
    sturlington: The Postman was influenced by Alas, Babylon.
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English (58)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
Thoroughly enjoyable read. I read this from watching the Kevin Costner film to find out more about he character and was not disappointed. Mind I do have a soft spot for the film.... ( )
  libgirl69 | Apr 19, 2014 |
Originally posted at FanLit.
http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/the-postman/

Sixteen years after an apocalyptic event that nearly destroyed all human life on the earth, civilization consists only of small groups of suspicious people who have managed to band together for safety. These communities are spread out and preyed upon by roaming bandits or groups of ??survivalistsƒ? who follow a despotic leader.

Gordon Krantz has been struggling to survive by himself in the Oregon wilderness. Heƒ??s been hoping to find a community where he can fit in, but when bandits steal all his clothes and gear, he has nothing to offer in return for shelter. Heƒ??s in danger of dying from hunger and exposure until he stumbles upon the corpse of a United States postal worker and dons the dead manƒ??s uniform.

Then he begins his scam; he presents himself to various towns and convinces them that he represents a newly formed United States government. He says he has a message to bring them from their new leaders and, as they feed and supply him, he lays down ƒ??lawsƒ? that he deems moral.

Soon Gordon is trapped in his lie. For his story to be believable Gordon has to keep moving ƒ?? he canƒ??t settle down. When he leaves each community, he takes the letters that hopeful people write to family members that are probably long dead. As his hoax continues and he travels back and forth between towns that are happily providing for him, Gordon is forced to cover himself by getting involved in community management, issuing decrees, setting up post offices, and hiring mailmen. Eventually Gordon becomes more than a conman and even more than an empty symbol of hope in the hearts of people who are in desperate need of hope; eventually Gordon becomes the man heƒ??s pretending to be.

I liked The Postman when I read it as a teenager years ago and I liked it again when I recently re-read it in audio format. The story is appealing because it examines hope at both the national and personal levels. On the national level we have a fractured society with some groups of people who are trying to unite for protection and companionship but who have so far been unsuccessful because theyƒ??re constantly threatened by the gangs of opportunistic despots. Gordonƒ??s fake identity offers the hope that someday a new democracy ƒ?? a new United States ƒ?? may be possible to achieve, not only through the hope, belief, and just plain survival of those who arenƒ??t willing to be ruled by tyrants, but also through the organization, infrastructure, education, and literacy that Gordonƒ??s ƒ??jobƒ? inspires.

On the personal level, David Brin gives us a conman who becomes the greatest kind of hero. Brinƒ??s story is so believable and it offers each of us the personal hope that we can be somebody better just by pretending to be that better person until we actually achieve it.

If The Postman had focused only on the themes Iƒ??ve described so far, I might have thought it was a perfect novel. Unfortunately, Brin dilutes his great story by adding in some weird elements such as an artificial intelligence, genetically modified soldiers, and a group of crazy women who think theyƒ??re feminists. Too bad. Brin didnƒ??t need all that stuff. Itƒ??s the story of the postman and the way he unwittingly begins to rebuild a nation that gives The Postman its power.

I listened to Audible Frontierƒ??s 2012 production of The Postman which was read by David LeDoux who did a great job. Even with its problems, I recommend The Postman and urge you to try the audio version. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Good, solid, post-apocalyptic science fiction. It was written in the 1980s, when this sub-genre became maybe a little too popular, possibly to the detriment of sci-fi as a whole. Set mainly in an Oregon reduced to isolated farming communities, the better first half follows the main character's journey through the remnants of civilization in the guise of a mail carrier. Eventually the forces of evil and barbarism arrive for a somewhat typical showdown between two end-of-the-world-views, elevated by Brin's excellent storytelling. It's entertaining, if bleak in stretches. ( )
  thermopyle | Dec 13, 2013 |
I liked the book better than the Kevin Costner movie. The Work-a-day hero, creating ripples far beyond his own pond is a good fantasy for a lot of us. The book's lack of chest-beating suits my tastes. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
The great virtue of "The Postman" by David Brin is that it takes nothing for granted...Mr. Brin offers no simplistic formulas; nothing comes easy for the postman or the people he tries to help... Still, I found myself wishing that the ''war for men's minds'' in this book had a convincing personal as well as a sociological dimension. I am afraid that it would take a more complex character than his likable but limited postman to do justice to the important issues Mr. Brin raises.
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Brinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hallman, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Benjamin Franklin,
devious genius,
and to Lysistrata,
who tried
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In dust and blood - with the sharp tang of terror stark in his nostrils - a man's mind wil sometimes pull forth odd relevancies.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553278746, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the aftermath of a war that has devastated the nation, a traveling storyteller borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker and is transformed unwittingly into a symbol of hope for America's future.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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