Recently, I had a week where I house sat for our dear editor…my only task to take care of a few animals. As such, I made it my goal to help lessen the massive stack of books Mr. Hunt had pending for book reviews.
Humbly, I accepted the challenge and, though I was able to pick through a few, I fear the incoming rate was no match for me (he received two more novels to add to the stack while I was housesitting).
So, my favorite pull from the stack o’ books: The Postmortal by Drew Magary. It’s not officially out yet, so this is a little extra exciting for me. Due out August 30th, my initial piece of advice is this: GET IT!
This is a book that got it right. The name of the book (The Postmortal) is simple yet interesting, the cover is striking, and the binding is even noticeable! The whole thing feels like a postmodern celebration of John Donne’s “Death Be Not Proud.” It wasn’t a ridiculously complex cover, it was as simple as the cover artist actually knowing 1) what they were doing and 2) how to do it. I could pick this book out on a shelf in a heartbeat (and I can only imagine its value in the modern era bookstore).
My random page note was simply this: “Holy crud can he write dialogue!”
The Novel Itself
Simply put: I LOVED this book. I love, love, LOVED it! I can’t say it enough. The author, though used to much shorter formats as per his resume (writing credits include Deadspin, Maxim, and Comedy Central) excels at bringing together a story arc to life which not only encompassed a world of his own creation but also a time span greater than many would ever choose to attempt with a singular character in a singular novel.
The Postmortal, a narrative comprised of blog-post like entries from one man named John Farrell, is an Everyman’s journey in which our main character attempts to find his purpose of existence. This particular journey takes us through his life, starting from his first trip to the doctor’s office to get “the cure” (the cure for aging, it is a form of gene therapy which effectively halts the aging process). It takes place in a very realistic version of our own world in the years 2019 and beyond. Over the 60 year time span (with jumps in between years), John experiences the pre-apocalyptic world as everything from an outsider to a government contracted official.
There are entries ranging from news blips to personal conversations and each of them rings eerily possible. The details from social to technological and from viral to geopolitical are comprehensive which serve to draw the reader into the realistic possibilities. The execution is flawless and, as such, this is an excellent read which will keep your pages flipping morning ’til nightfall.
I would suggest this novel to nearly anyone…in particular, I would suggest it to anyone who is unafraid of the future (even if it is bleak). It’s not a kid’s novel, but I feel as though I would’ve enjoyed it as early as when I was in high school. An intelligent concept and an intelligent read, The Postmortal is a first-class five-star book.