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The Postman by David Brin
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The Postman

by David Brin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,357742,397 (3.73)1 / 181
Recently added byctcoke, thindor, Tim_Vincent, skirsch, deireadh, vandaaway, DougBaker, private library
  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
    Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Although the language is very different the themes are similar
  4. 21
    Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling (MikeBriggs)
  5. 00
    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (sturlington)
    sturlington: The Postman was influenced by Alas, Babylon.
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English (72)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
This book started off really well. It's post apocalyptic, which I love and had a wonderful premise: Gordon, the main character, discovers an old mail truck with the body of a mailman in it. He scavenges, making the warm leather jacket and the rest of the uniform his. As he moves from scattered village to far out community, he discovers that the uniform empowers him and gives him a means to provide hope and courage to the disconnected United States. A huge lie takes root, except that it's not really a lie because he is actually delivering the mail.

And then, Brin descends into thinly disguised pro-government and pro-technology-runs-the-world propaganda and that's where he lost me. I know, it's common. Hollywood glorifies the USA and patriotism all the time. He idealizes civilization as it was when he wrote this novel - 1985 - and gives no room for a new order of the world. There's clear black and white lines between civilization and savagery, between the good guys and the bad guys, between right and wrong in a world turned topsy turvy.

All of this would have been ok, probably, if the book had been carefully written and well polished. It wasn't terribly written, but it wasn't great, either. Brin told the story but didn't allow the reader to sink into the world and find complete satisfaction in the story.

Would I recommend it? Sure. It was mildly entertaining. Would I go out of my way to recommend it? No. It was nothing extra special. ( )
  Wordbrarian | Mar 5, 2019 |
There were big wraps on the novel "The Postman" upon word that Kevin Costner was going to star in the film adaptation. So, I borrowed a copy from the library and started reading.

In the end, "The Postman" offered much but delivered little (pun intended). A post-apocalyptic tale about a man who pretends to be a postman, giving hope to the isolated communities around what was once the United States of America. I finally finished reading "The Postman" and didn't bother watching the film. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Feb 27, 2019 |
“I found out something, you know. I discovered that the big things don’t love you back. They take and take, and never give in return. They’ll drain your blood, your soul, if you let them, and never let go.
I lost my wife, my son, while away battling for big things. They needed me, but I had to go off trying to save the world… Today I fight for my people, for my farm—for smaller things—things I can hold.”

Definitely a great example of a post-apocalyptic novel that should interest both fans of the genre and more general readership. A story about remaining a civilized person in the world where the civilization failed, about deals with inner self and with others one have to make to survive, but maybe become less human in process.
The story is fiercely patriotic about ‘the American way’ and I have to question myself if in other countries the thing would be much different, what is more important – a leader or roots of the society that seems to forget them but they still hold it? The author doesn’t idealize everything the US does, e. g.
Back at the beginning, during the riots and the great starvation, it had seemed that the one thing in inexhaustible supply was ammunition. If only turn-of-the-century America had stockpiled and distributed food half so well as its citizens had cached mountains of bullets …
However, he still suggests that the good that was made greatly outweighed the bad and that struggle should continue.
Another important point of the book – it is much easier to follow the leader and even die for him/her than try to lead oneself
( )
1 vote Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
In The Postman, David Brin tells the story of men in a post-apocalyptic world. Set in the near future (but an alternate past for today), the protagonist, Gordon Krantz, is traveling west looking for a place in the world.

It is set in Oregon almost two decades after a nuclear war where the young have no memory of the pre-apocalypse. Early in the book, it is Winter when he is robbed by three men who take everything of value that he has. Cold and seeking shelter, he finds a wrecked mail car with a dead mailman. Taking the dead man's clothing and a mail sack so he'll have something to read. This action determines his fate and that or Oregon.

In order to gain food and shelter, he presents himself as a mailman of a reformed USA. Shuffling through his bag, he is able to find a few letters to deliver to local survivors. His conscious bothers him for the lies, but his subconscious compels him to continue the farce.

In trial after trial, he is only trying to survive, but the uniform and his subconscious call him into action; he, or rather his uniform, becomes a symbol of a united country. Where he goes, people are inspired and form their own post offices. In spite of his own desires, he is making a truth out of his fiction.

David Brin has built a compelling picture of this world and its characters. The story is compelling and very well-told. ( )
1 vote Nodosaurus | Jan 3, 2019 |
I read the novella The Postman when it was first published, in Isaac Asimov'e Science Fiction Magazine in 1982. Five stars, unequivocally. However, as the novel went on (and on) I felt that the Cyclops story and the events of the further narrative didn't live up to the excellence of the first part. ( )
  muumi | Dec 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (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 (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Brinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hallman, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langowski, JürgenTranslatorsecondary 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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:28 -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.

» see all 5 descriptions

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