This is the story of a lie that became the most powerful kind of truth. A timeless novel as urgently compelling as War Day or Alas, Babylon, David Brin's The Postman is the dramatically moving saga of a man who rekindled the spirit of America through the power of a dream, from a modern master of science fiction.
He was a survivor - a wanderer who traded tales for food and shelter in the dark and savage aftermath of a devastating war. Fate touches him one chill winter's day when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker to protect himself from the cold. The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it he begins to weave his greatest tale, of a nation on the road to recovery.
©1985 David Brin (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Among the highest
The stand, post-apocaplyptic
This is one of my favorite novels, A couple of months ago I sent audible a wish list of novels And this was among them. In fact this is the 6th they have produced so far on my list. In addition they added 4 more Brin novels which were not on my list, but all in my personala library, and soon to be added to my audible library.
Thanks Audible, from a long time and happy customer.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at FanLit.
Sixteen years after an apocalyptic event that nearly destroyed all human life on the earth, civilization consists only of small groups of suspicious people who have managed to band together for safety. These communities are spread out and preyed upon by roaming bandits or groups of “survivalists” who follow a despotic leader.
Gordon Krantz has been struggling to survive by himself in the Oregon wilderness. He’s been hoping to find a community where he can fit in, but when bandits steal all his clothes and gear, he has nothing to offer in return for shelter. He’s in danger of dying from hunger and exposure until he stumbles upon the corpse of a United States postal worker and dons the dead man’s uniform.
Then he begins his scam; he presents himself to various towns and convinces them that he represents a newly formed United States government. He says he has a message to bring them from their new leaders and, as they feed and supply him, he lays down “laws” that he deems moral.
Soon Gordon is trapped in his lie. For his story to be believable Gordon has to keep moving — he can’t settle down. When he leaves each community, he takes the letters that hopeful people write to family members that are probably long dead. As his hoax continues and he travels back and forth between towns that are happily providing for him, Gordon is forced to cover himself by getting involved in community management, issuing decrees, setting up post offices, and hiring mailmen. Eventually Gordon becomes more than a conman and even more than an empty symbol of hope in the hearts of people who are in desperate need of hope; eventually Gordon becomes the man he’s pretending to be.
I liked The Postman when I read it as a teenager years ago and I liked it again when I recently re-read it in audio format. The story is appealing because it examines hope at both the national and personal levels. On the national level we have a fractured society with some groups of people who are trying to unite for protection and companionship but who have so far been unsuccessful because they’re constantly threatened by the gangs of opportunistic despots. Gordon’s fake identity offers the hope that someday a new democracy — a new United States — may be possible to achieve, not only through the hope, belief, and just plain survival of those who aren’t willing to be ruled by tyrants, but also through the organization, infrastructure, education, and literacy that Gordon’s “job” inspires.
On the personal level, David Brin gives us a conman who becomes the greatest kind of hero. Brin’s story is so believable and it offers each of us the personal hope that we can be somebody better just by pretending to be that better person until we actually achieve it.
If The Postman had focused only on the themes I’ve described so far, I might have thought it was a perfect novel. Unfortunately, Brin dilutes his great story by adding in some weird elements such as an artificial intelligence, genetically modified soldiers, and a group of crazy women who think they’re feminists. Too bad. Brin didn’t need all that stuff. It’s the story of the postman and the way he unwittingly begins to rebuild a nation that gives The Postman its power.
I listened to Audible Frontier’s 2012 production of The Postman which was read by David LeDoux who did a great job. Even with its problems, I recommend The Postman and urge you to try the audio version.
An exercise in what ifs...zombies, earth changes, war, plague, asteroids, EMP, raiders....what would you do if the lights went out, forever.
The Postman is an insightful and inspiring story of a man in his quest to protect the flickering flame of civilization from the imposing dark ages of a post apocalyptic world. As Gordon Krantz makes his way across the apocalyptic wasteland, barely surviving among the ruins of civilization, he stumbles upon an old United States Postal vehicle that forever changes the direction of his life. What starts out as a lie to simply gain shelter and food becomes an idea that ignites a revolution. This is a story more about ideas that any particular ideology. In fact, David Brin often presents ideology as being part of the reason for civilization’s demise. For instance, the term “survivalist” becomes derogatory as some radical elements of the community have embraced the fall of civilization as an opportunity to subdue, pillage and conquer. Don’t fret preppers: The Postman was written in 1985, before the more recent, positive culture of self-sufficiency and permaculture which has become more widespread in recent years spreading through good people like Jack Spirko at The Survival Podcast. The power of ideas should not be underestimated. While it is easy to focus on the more negative examples of crooked idealism gone astray such as the case with hitler and the nazis (disrespect intended), Brin proposes that ideas can have an equally positive effect as he presents the United States as a successful society structured upon ideas that actually lead to a decrease in human suffering. Civilization is presented as an idea or a collection of ideas rather than a physical manifestation. The Postman is a substantial work of fiction that will provide you with considerable grist for the mill of contemplation, if you are so inclined. Alternatively, if you are simply seeking a great story with likeable characters, you will not be disappointed.
One of the top 10% of audio books.
A truly interesting story.
The Postman, of course.
Not really. One needs to stop and think about some of the concepts in this book. It is not mere entertainment.
Great listen! Of course it was much better than the movie. Causes you to think as well as entertains you.
I'm one of the few people that enjoyed the movie based on this book. I found the story familiar yet totally new. Not a true survivalist novel with hard facts, but definitely worth it.
Unfortunately I saw the movie before I read the book. I actually liked the movie but the book, in my humble opinion is more interesting. The problem arose while listening to the story I was waiting for the movie script to unfold - it never did, however, the book has some similarities of character.
A lie that became a powerful truth that changed a mans life and helped rebuild a fallen nation. This is a great post-apocalyptic novel. If you saw the movie and didn't like it don't let it stop you from getting this book, it's excellent and has very little in common with the movie.
The Postman is a classic of the genre, a must read for anyone who loves great storytelling. This is probably in the top 10 of my all-time favorites.
The Postman is a post-apocalyptic story similar to stories like The Earth Abides, Lucifer's Hammer, The Stand, etc. What sets The Postman apart from those books is the strong undercurrent of love of country. The dream of a nation that was once united, with all the blessings of the civilization that we now enjoy. We get to see through the eyes of those who lost it, and through the main character, Gordon. He's a dreamer, an idealist, and the one in whom the American dream of "home" still burns bright and strong. After 17 years of desperate struggles, an unexpected find gives Gordon the opportunity to create a watershed moment for himself, his fellow survivors, and the nation once known as The United States of America.
David LeDoux's performance is good. His voice and style fit the character and the story well. His style is somewhat different in that he often ends his narration on a higher tone rather than lower one. This is a bit different from other narrative styles but does not detract from the story.
One of the most moving parts of the book comes near the end, when Gordon is struggling to free himself from an enemy camp. As Gordon struggles, he sees and hears the metaphorical voices of a dead nation, challenging him, urging him on. All his dreams, all his ambitions, the real spirit of a nation, fight to overcome his desperation, and sense of hopelessness. This story reflects a real struggle faced by every generation. Are we to remain a nation, or will we simply give up, declare our battles lost, and allow the dream to fade into oblivion?
I've waited many years to see this book come to audio. I first read The Postman a few years after its publication and have loved it ever since. I have a copy of the book in my personal library. But, unlike my younger years, I just don't have to sit and relax with a good book. Audiobooks are perfect because they allow me to listen to great stories while I'm commuting, or running errands, or doing normal chores and tasks around my home. With audiobooks, I actually look forward to what used to be really dull chores, like mowing the lawn. This book, The Postman is a valuable addition to my audio library.
An avid audio fan, I listen mainly whilst walking my dog. I enjoy many and varied subjects,history,travel,espionage,crime,anything good
Well,I was warned!
One of the other reviewers wrote about the oddity of the narrators' rythm,pausing in mid-sentence etc., but I downloaded the book anyway.
I have seen the movie a few times,and the story is really good,leading us to imagine an all-too possible frightening future after a devastating world war,followed by famine and plague.
The scenarios of the breakdown of government,communication,moral conduct are easily acceptable,and there is always the faint glimmer of hope and renewal in the background.A good novel.
But I am sorry,I gave up listening towards the end of the 1st part.The narration was no good,and I found it almost impossible to overcome my distaste for the narration in order to concentrate on the story.
Most of the drama in the narrative is pretty low level,the hero,Gordon,is mostly a laid-back sort of guy,and the description of state of humanity post-apocalypse is scary enough,so why try and sensationalise passages by all sorts of weird pauses,inflexions etc.?
Well,I have moved on to my next download,and like Gordon Krantz,look forward to better things.
Gritty realism. I could picture everything as it happened. I like the way the Postman is not a heroic figure; he backs into situations where he is forced to act. Just like real life.
Gordon's escape from captivity near the end.
He's trying too hard to be "dramatic." He takes strange pauses in odd places, sometimes what seems like in the middle of a sentence. I often wondered if the reader were trying to make this a "stream-of-consciousness" story when it really was not.
No, I don't think so. The action of the story takes place over too long a period of time. It would feel rushed if listened to all at once.
Don't listen to this expecting a replay of the Kevin Costner movie. The moviemakers took greater liberty with the story than in any other instance I can think of. It's almost as if they took the most basic detail--in post-apocalypse America, man finds mailbag--and made up their own story. They're different takes on the same basic premise. Neither is "better." But just remember that the book goes off in a different direction than the movie.
I'm an aspiring author, a lawyer, a sci-fi fan, a father, and a harsh critic of pretty much everything. I enjoy audiobooks because I read very slowly, and audiobooks allow me to consume novels at a rate that would be impossible for me to achieve with printed text.
I'm in the minority of people who actually REALLY enjoyed the movie version of this story. No, it wasn't perfect, but it is one of the best post apocalyptic stories out there.
I was surprised to see how much the book deviated from the movie, particularly in the personality of the main character. There were some very clever plot points in the book that were abandoned in the film. I don't want to spoil them for you, so I won't go into any detail.
Be aware, however, that there were certain things that the movie did better than the book. At the top of that list would be the ending of the story. I'm not talking about the fistfight crap in the movie- I'm talking about everything else, including the epilogue.
This is my second Brin novel, and so far it seems to me that his premises are a lot better than his execution.
I got this audiobook for around $10, I believe. It's worth it at that price.
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