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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
3,518762,494 (3.74)1 / 184
After a limited but devastating war the handful of Americans who remain struggle to survive. One such man borrows the jacket of a dead postal worker to keep warm. He finds the old worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope of an age now gone.
  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
    Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven (sturlington)
  6. 00
    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (sturlington)
    sturlington: The Postman was influenced by Alas, Babylon.
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English (74)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
post war collapse of America borrowed postmans jacket creates myth of renewal
  ritaer | Mar 19, 2020 |
It took about 80 pages before I really started to get into this novel, but once I did I became more and more invested the further I got. It reminded me very much of a cross-country Jericho, or Y: The Last Man — both of which are somewhat obscure comparisons and possibly not very helpful*, but what they all have in common is how they take a possible post-apocalyptic scenario and examine how this might realistically affect people, in the big, obvious ways and the myriad of small ways you wouldn't immediately think of. It's quite possible both of those works were actually influenced by The Postman.

This is a very well-crafted book. The big arcs are, in a way, predictable — I saw most of the end results coming from the first pages. But I found I didn't mind at all, as I was simply curious how it would get from one end to the other, and that was always quite interesting and unpredictable. The gender politics that emerged especially in the latter half of the book were a surprise, and I'm still not quite sure if it was a pleasant one. They were strange and I don't know how I feel about them except that I think they might be slightly problematic due to the way they put women on a pedestal (i.e., no, women are just as fallible as men). But I give it a bit of a pass for having been written in 1985. Additionally, the main character's guilt complex could get a little tiring and probably didn't need to be quite so anvilicious, but it was necessary to the story.

Wasn't too crazy about the ending, but the journey was bound to be much more interesting anyway.


* highly recommended, however! ( )
  Jeeps | Sep 21, 2019 |
One of the best books I've read in a while. ( )
  Vulco1 | Jun 24, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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