The Postman

David Brin
The Postman Cover

The Postman


This book won two awards and was nominated for two more, is included on several "best" lists and was made into a movie. The first half is build from two award winning novellas. Unfortunately, the second half of this book left me with the postage due.

The first half is very good. Gordon is a wandering troubadour, surviving from town-to-town in post-apocalyptic America. After being bushwacked and losing much of his kit, he stumbles on a wrecked mail delivery jeep and adds "postman" to his many roles. This new role grows to define Gordon, and inspires more people than his half-remembered Shakespeare could. He picks up the mantle of hero reluctantly, making for good internal conflict.

Next he encounters a settlement with improved technology, led by "Cyclops", a computer that survived the EMP. This portion is also well done, with good characters and setting.

In the last section of the book, never published separately, Gordon reluctantly agrees to lead the defense of towns against remaining survivalists. I read this nearly in one go during a European flight, and while it was good reading, the plot is lacking. Politics, feminism, and other elements are introduced which really don't fit the rest of the novel, culminating in a lightning-lit multi-page battle.

In summary, two-thirds of a good book, or two Novellas do not a good Novel make. I have never seen the film, but will consider it in the near future. 2 and 2/3 stars.