BROTW 05/01/17-The Postman

Book Recommendation of the Week 05/01/17

Author: Brin, David

Title: The Postman

Publication Date: 1985

Number of Pages: 294

Geographical Setting: Oregon

Time Period: Near Future

Plot Summary: The Doomwar has come and gone and taken what was left of human society with it. America is no more. For fifteen years Gordon Krantz has wandered a world devoid of pity and compassion, a hard world seemingly unsuited for good thoughtful men. Gordon is one of those few thoughtful men. After taking an old United States Postal Uniform to wear for warmth, Gordon assumes the made-up role of a postal inspector for the “Restored United States”. It is a mild lie, not typical for Gordon’s character. But it is a lie that spins out of control as more and more people come to believe in him and the restored values he represents. A community forms around Gordon, a community of restored faith and dreams. But from the south, comes the threat of the Holnists, a maniacal cult of survivalists. The people, emboldened by hope, vow to stand and fight. Gordon is torn. How can a people live on the foundation of a lie–his lie? How can he protect them, in the face of such a vicious enemy?

Appeal: The Postman is a book about hope, and the idea of myths. It is a thinking person’s meditation on responsibility and one’s place in society. Gordon tells a lie, in a fit of pique, and spends the rest of the book dealing with that lie. The book is as much about symbolism as it is an action story. While the book was made into a much-disliked film, the book itself is worth reading.

Similar Authors and Works: Harlan Ellison, A Boy and His Dog collected in The Essential Ellison; Walter M. Miller Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz; Larry Niven, Lucifer’s Hammer.