The Postman

{4.5/5} “All considered, it was amazing a man like him had lived this long. Everyone he had known or admired as a boy had died, along with all the hopes any of them had had. The soft world made for dreamers like himself broke apart when he was only eighteen. Long since then he’d come to realize that his persistent optimism had to be a form of hysterical insanity.”

Eighteen years after World War III in Oregon people have mostly banded together in towns. Different towns are run differently, and at least one town wants to conquer everyone else.

Gordon wanders by himself these days, even though it’s dangerous — basically heading west to see if things are better there. After he’s robbed he stumbles on a long-dead postman and takes his uniform. At first people just assume he is a postman — and then he becomes one.

The Postman by David Brin was published in 1985.

There are lots of post-apocalyptic novels, but this is one of the best. Of course, it reminded me in a general way of the last post-apocalyptic book I read, Julian Comstock — but the books are quite different, and both worth reading.

This one is about the power of symbols — the symbol of the post office, and the symbol of the United States.

Different arguments are put forward about the ideal nature of government and power.

If you like science fiction, this should be on your list.

I’ve read Brin’s Kiln People, which was also great, and I’ll read more of his books.

The movie (starring Kevin Costner) based on this book isn’t good so please ignore it.

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 29th, 2013 at 9:10 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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