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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Post (Apocalypse) Man
This is the book which the film The Postman [DVD] [1998]is based upon apparently but I would say that it is very loosely based upon the book.

There is essentially a play on words within the title, the book is narrated in the third person, has a good pace and poses many philosophical questions in the opening chapters, it weaves the back story of apocalypse into...
Published on 19 July 2010 by Lark

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Postman always leads a renaissance of human society
I've really wavered about how much I like this book. After ploughing my way through a few monstrously long post-apocalyptic novels, I refreshed myself with Neville Shute's much more elegantly paced On The Beach before approaching this, which I thought would be another overblown epic. I was delighted when I realised it's far less self-indulgent than some others in the...
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Post (Apocalypse) Man, 19 July 2010
By 
Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Postman (Paperback)
This is the book which the film The Postman [DVD] [1998]is based upon apparently but I would say that it is very loosely based upon the book.

There is essentially a play on words within the title, the book is narrated in the third person, has a good pace and poses many philosophical questions in the opening chapters, it weaves the back story of apocalypse into the storyline of the travels of a contemporary of the post-apocalyptic world well but Brin has really gone all out to include as many futuristic themes as possible into a single story.

This is the reason why the book differs so much from the more straight forward story featured in the film of world wary wanderer vs. philistine nobody turned dictator.

To a point there are parallels, there is a wanderer who does stumble upon a deceased post man in a van and does decide loot the post van and take the postmans coat, the idea that villagers will invite outsiders to father children where sterility has afflicted husbands features but does not develop as a love interest as in the film, although from this point the book departs majorly from the plot of the film.

Brin's account of the end of times is different from that of most other post-apocalypse authors in that it is more a matter of society withering on the branch than war. Complicity and decadence breed an assurity which is quickly confounded when a confluence of unrelated crisis, outbreaks of disease, anti-technology riots (similar to the "simplification" featured in A Canticle for Leibowitz (Bantam Spectra Book)) and this is all told well through reflections on things like scarcity (shortages in tooth powder, anesthesia or medicine), the rise of survivalism (when a tipping point is reached beyond which people lose any hope that the authorities will recover the former order and prosperity). Its also a humanised account since the protagonist of the tale is a survivor of former times and not recalling or researching a distant past (as in Leibowitz) and he considers the cheapness of human life and the cruelty and capriciousness which has become the norm in contrast to his own efforts, with others, to try and volunteer in a socially conscientious manner as things began to collapse.

A recurrent and interesting theme is what provides survivors with hope, obviously the idea that a postal service while reconnect people is one hope but there are also some great reflections on technology and sentient machines which are totally abscent from the film.

It is a little disappointing then, when towards the end of the book, it turns into a bit of an action novel, with a guerilla struggle between settlements and then the introduction of characters into the storyline which made me think of either the incredible hulk or super mutants from the Fallout series of post-apocalypse role playing games. However I dont think this despoils the novel altogether. Not at all, although it does feel a little like genre hopping or something which could have made for a seperate sequel.

I really recommend this book, its not better than A Canticle for Leibowitz (Bantam Spectra Book) but its a good read in its own right.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than these reviews, 5 Sep 2010
By 
Mr. J. Forsyth (Durham, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Postman (Paperback)
Id like to start by saying just how surpriesd I am by all of these "a little dissapointed.." reviews im reading.

The story is great, it puts forward a now tired scenario perfectly and absorbingly with what seems a freshness as opposed to a bleakness - the post apocalyptic struggle is a positive drive, not a tiresome nihlistic drag as some books suggest.

People rattling on about the book failling to deliver its phillosophical points(?) in my opinion were looking too deep. FAR too deep. As with most good Sci-Fi there is a clever idea or message ingrained in the story but it is not the entire story, it is a skeleton to build around. Its got to have a good story or I lose interest in the ideas.

So this is just that, a great post-apocalyptic story about chance and one mans destiny/fate, survival and the rebuilding of civilisation. And a nice, clever way of doing it.

P.S. apart from the post-apocolypse thing I dont really get all the comparisons being made to A CANTICLE FOR LIEBOWITZ. Yes I read and own that book also, and to be honest didnt really get it, maybe I'll give it another read but it is SO DIFFERENT from this book. Really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Postman always leads a renaissance of human society, 4 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Postman (Kindle Edition)
I've really wavered about how much I like this book. After ploughing my way through a few monstrously long post-apocalyptic novels, I refreshed myself with Neville Shute's much more elegantly paced On The Beach before approaching this, which I thought would be another overblown epic. I was delighted when I realised it's far less self-indulgent than some others in the genre and weighs in at about 400 pages, a length which feels 'right' for the story to be told.

It starts really well, constantly changing direction as Gordon Krantz struggles to survive in (yet another!) post-apocalyptic North America. It's realistically done and I enjoyed the focus on the rights and wrongs of life in this much battered society. In this respect this early section is rather like The Road, albeit nothing like so dark and without Cormac McCarthy's lyrical psychological insight. The core idea, that a small lie can snowball and serve a much bigger and better truth, is a really interesting one and kept me engaged off and on to the end. In fact there are interesting ideas throughout - the book also meditates on the nature of leadership and how leaders should relate to society, for example.

The book was originally written in three sections, which is obvious but actually works in its favour as each section has a different theme. It lost me slightly in the last section, as this element felt more like pulp scifi than the first two, but each to his own and I can hardly blame Brin for being a scifi author! Still, I found the final section less original than the first two and in this section the themes being explored are less subtly drawn, coming down to a physical confrontation between adherents of two different philosophies. For me, this has lost this easy to read and entertaining book one star.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable post apocalyptic story of one man's struggles and hopes, 21 Sep 2012
By 
Killie (Armadale, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Postman (Paperback)
"The Postman" by David Brin tells the story of Gordon, a man who is trying to survive alone in a post-apocalyptic United States. Over the last 16 years war, disease and famine has left the planet with little hint of a civilization beyond some tiny isolated communities that are trying to hold there own against gangs of savage outlaws known as "survivalists".

Whilst trying to recover some stolen belongings, Gordon stumbles upon the remains of a long-dead mailman and utilises the dead man's uniform to keep warm, and takes the un-delivered letters to use as paper for a journal. As he progresses across the country he begins to create the fiction of being a mailman in the "Restored United States" in order to make it easier to approach communities and trade. Soon though, his lie takes on a life of its own and communities, long without hope begin to believe in something again. So, when this new beginning he has helped to create is threatened, Gordon is forced to either finally admit the lie or become the leader he never wanted to be.

I have read some David Brin books before and enjoyed them all so I was looking forward to reading this, especially as one of my guilty pleasures is the Kevin Costner film that is based on the novel. For those of you have seen the movie and didn't really rate it you shouldn't be too worried as the film only really concentrates on the first 50-100 pages of the book. The book expands well on what was shown on the screen and it doesn't limit itself to just trying to tell some sort of epic in scope action story.

In fact, the level of action throughout the story is actually quite limited and the story itself wasn't technically epic in scale either. It was more about looking at the life of one man trying to survive and discover some form hope in a bleak and dangerous world. It may have been slow paced at times and did feel a little dated but I found myself thoroughly engrossed and entertained as I followed the story as it highlighted the struggle of the weak against the strong, the one against the many and the desire to build something grand out of the ashes of the past. The slow pace at the beginning of the story could potentially put some people off, but I believe it helps build a picture of both the world and Gordon's life within it and would advise everyone to stick with it.

Brin has captured some of the emotional moments quite well and the novel does leaves a strong impression. This is helped by the various characters in the novel that are both believable and interesting even though many of them are just normal people trying to deal with the life they have been given. A minor point in regards to the characters is that we don't actually get to spend much time with any of them; Brin has included so many that there is only enough time for a brief glimpse at their lives. In addition, the survivalists did seem a little bit two-dimensional and the later portion of the book suffered during their involvement in the story.

Overall, this was an interesting post-apocalyptic story that allows the reader to take a look at the lives of regular people in a bleak world and follow their choices, struggles and hopes. It really is an enjoyable novel that should have any fan of dystopian post-apocalyptic style novels entertained and rooting for the underdog and his dream of a better future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time to go postal, 13 July 2010
By 
Amazon Customer "MjD" (Edinburgh, Scotland. { Kobe, Japan. Saipan. Alabama.}) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Postman (Paperback)
I very rarely read sci-fi but this great novel about a post-apocalyptic america doesn't really read like one. A great story, exciting & well written. Much deeper & far better than the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much better than the movie, a good solid read., 28 Jun 1999
By A Customer
The movie was ok, but the book was great (how often do you hear that!). This was an engaging look at the life of a man doing what he needed to survive, while giving hope by accident. The story moves along quickly, and I couldn't put the book down. A great buy!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read, 15 Sep 2010
By 
Robert Comerford (Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Postman (Paperback)
The novel started out so very well. Why the author had to delve into intelligent machines and superhumans is beyond me. However, their introduction and effect on the story line did not spoil it enough to cause me to throw the book away. The hypothesis the author uses for one person to start to bring society together post apocalypse is brilliant. This kept me reading to the end. If the fantasy had not been introduced I would have put it up there with Earth Abides. A good read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the movie!, 3 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, this is one book that should not be passed up. I highly recommend the book for anyone who has questions about the movie.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The post-Apocalypse book you'll ever read, 21 Sep 1998
By A Customer
I read this book a few years ago and to this day it's one of my favorite's of all time. The movie was forgettable, so I hope that doesn't give you a bad impression, because this book takes an old subject but refreshes it in a wonderful way. A very moving story that you won't be able to put down.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tale, 17 July 1998
By A Customer
I first read this book years ago, probably when it was first printed, and I found it to be a very powerful story of one man's fight against oppression. Granted, we've all heard that before but then what plot hasn't been heard before. There's just something about America that brings us all together when some dictator wannabe comes along to take away our freedom(s) and that's what this book is all about.
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