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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Postman Mass Market Paperback – November 3, 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 273 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gordon Krantz survived the Doomwar only to spend years crossing a post-apocalypse United States looking for something or someone he could believe in again. Ironically, when he's inadvertently forced to assume the made-up role of a "Restored United States" postal inspector, he becomes the very thing he's been seeking: a symbol of hope and rebirth for a desperate nation. Gordon goes through the motions of establishing a new postal route in the Pacific Northwest, uniting secluded towns and enclaves that are starved for communication with the rest of the world. And even though inside he feels like a fraud, eventually he will have to stand up for the new society he's helping to build or see it destroyed by fanatic survivalists. This classic reprint is not one of David Brin's best books, but the moving story he presents overcomes mediocre writing and contrived plots.

Review

A major motion picture from Warner Bros., directed by and starring Kevin Costner.

Critical acclaim for David Brin and The Postman:

"The Postman will keep you engrossed until you've finished the last page."--Chicago Tribune

"Brin is a bold and imaginative writer."--The Washington Post Book World
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Spectra; Reprint edition (November 3, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553278746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553278743
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C W Breaux on January 4, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In David Brin's postapocalyptic novel, The Postman, the civilized world has been destroyed by a brief nuclear war and the ensuing nuclear winter, diseases, and barbarism. Set in what used to be Oregon, remnants of civilization exist in small independent towns inhabited by survivors and their offspring eking out a living through agriculture and trades.
Gordon Krantz is a lone wanderer, surviving by moving from village to village as a storyteller and minstrel. He finds a dead postal worker's skeleton in the woods and co-opts his clothing to stay warm. With the bag of postage, he hits upon a scam of representing himself as a postal inspector of the "Restored United States," sent to establish post offices in each town and re-establish mail service. He is surprisingly embraced everywhere he travels because of people's thirst for community and communication... and hope. He unwittingly becomes a victim of his own scam and is reluctantly thrust into a leadership role in reuniting Oregon, and by implication the rest of the nation in the future. Along the way, he discovers the way each town coped with the aftermath of the war, makes various friendships, falls in love, and leads the war against the rogue survivalists from the south.
I quite enjoyed this novel and found it uplifting in the message of a regular man who had greatness thrust upon him and came to realize that he had to take responsibility. The movie, starring Kevin Costner, is also good but diverges a good bit from the book, especially in the second half. As is often the case, the book is better.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
At one point in David Brin's "The Postman," the narrator intones: "Gordon's appointed postmasters would continue lying without knowing it, using the tale of a restored nation to bind the land together, until the fable wasn't needed anymore. Or until, by believing it, people made it come true." There is more than a touch of William James here, of making it so by believing in it, of the "Will to Believe." Certainly, Kevin Costner's movie version demanded a heavy dose of the willing suspension of disbelief from us when an army of postmen rode to the rescue under a restored "Old Glory," forming an unwitting parody of "cavalry to the rescue" scene in old westerns, as well as of an earlier Costner epic ... the mounted ride-by presented as holy defiance in both The Postman and Dances With Wolves.
Because Brin was crafting a book, and not painting visual symbols, his demands seem more reasonable. Despite some stretches, and unlike other reviewers, I did not see the mano-a-mano at the end as "deus ex machina," but instead a reasonable question -- are we as capable of creating one kind of "superman" as that other, most feared? The fight woven into the endstory is, after all, symbolic of a struggle between Titans (an image and a term Brin consciously employs): competing world views. If we are prepared by science fiction to accept the evil member of the "superman" twins, why not also the good? Is science fiction so jaded, or will it accept the myth of the good in people as quickly as the myth of evil?
By using the Postman as the handy symbol for "swell the music, pass around the Kleenex" scenes, Costner buries the underlying irony. The Postman as epic hero....
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed the first half of this book. The wandering postman poser bringing hope to every town he visits. I enjoy the post apocalyptic genre, and felt the story was proceeding enjoyably without many post-ap cliches. I really liked the hope springing eternal aspect to it.

Unfortunately the second half of the book devolved into something that could only be saved by deus ex machina - which is exactly what happened. The characters stopped acting like believable people. Critical events happened that were difficult to believe and never explained (the Scout's plan "somehow" was uncovered). Characters were being killed off almost as though the author were afraid that the story wasn't having any emotional impact for the last many pages so maybe if someone we had been introduced to died...

I was very disappointed by the end of the book. If it had left the standard "good guy vs. bad guy climax" out, the whole story would have been better for it. If you really want to enjoy the book, just stop at the second interlude.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have to go against the overwhelming tide of opinion that holds this novel to be an excellent work. The first half of the novel isn't bad as we accompany the protaganist and his effort to survive in post-apopcalyptic America. The character isn't heroic. Instead he's a survivor. And then we get started with the postman charade. At first it has potential - the reestablishing of communications to rebuild civilization. The lowly mailman suddenly stepping into a position as savior or at least rebuilder. The mundane civil servant now is heroic. Very intruiging. But then David Brin - ex-NASA scientist - has to bring in technology. Suddenly we have genetically engineered super-soldiers and something called neo-hippie technology. In one quick turn we are in some kind of world involving ressurrected 1960's philosophy! The book wanders around, looking for some kind of philosophical grounding. Why? Isn't it enough to have a story about the rebuilding of the country? Or did David Brin become bored with such an Earthy story and feel the need to go into space - so to speak. No I believe this book suffers from a lack of focus. A good idea, but not carried out completely.
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