Hello peeps! Another day, another book review!! Today, I am reviewing a book by one of my top ten favorite authors, Drew Magary. I have previously reviewed Magary’s other novel, “The Hike” (link here). It was/is an amazing journey of a book which at the end will leave you panting and saying simultaneously “whew doggy!” and “what the hell did I just read?!?”. Magary’s other novel, “The Postmortal”, was written way back in 2011 and showed his talent. He was nominated for a Philip K. Dick Award and an Arthur C. Clarke Award. The moral of the story…write something great and you might get an award from a guy who uses his middle initial.
A little background on Magary for your frontal lobes. He was born in October of 1976 in Australia. He moved to the States at a very early age and went to college to major in Journalism. He has written 2 novels, 2 non-fiction works and appeared on the Food Network’s: Chopped.
SUMMARY: Now to the good stuff! Let’s talk all things “The Postmortal”. Let me give you a brief synopsis/background of what is happening. It’s the near future and something miraculous has happened. The cure for aging has been found. People are able to simply have their genetic code rearranged and in doing so they effectively stop the aging process and can live forever (minus all the Twilighty vampirey stuff).
The book is written as a memoir/diary of the main character, John Farrell. Written in first person, I really got a feeling of experiencing the emotional gambit of everything John goes through. As we follow John through his immortality and we see the cure go worldwide, more and more problems begin to surface. Rampant overpopulation, worldwide hunger, strange new religions worshiping man instead of God, government programs aimed at getting rid of those whom the government no longer see necessary in the world and probably the biggest issue facing John, the search for love. We get to witness the world gradually go from one that we all know and inhabit to a Mad Max apocalyptic type of scenario.
THOUGHTS: This is definitely a book about death. Even though this is essentially a book about living forever, underneath there is a current of the death of the world as we know it. John goes from being an average guy to a man charting into unknown territory – immortality. We see his world, that he has always known, essentially die and the familiar give way to uncertainty and the unknown. One of the things I most enjoyed about this book was how Magary didn’t make it a feel good, fun adventure. Instead, as we read, we see John is flawed and makes a lot of mistakes that come to haunt him. But what really stuck out to me was the thought that he would essentially carry those decisions around with him for the rest of eternity.
The biggest journey John takes in this book is an inner one. At the beginning, John is very self centered and we see him choosing bachelorhood over marriage and family life. But as the years go by and the world gets older (but John stay the same age), we see him mature mentally and emotionally. He struggles with building relationships. He struggles with what it means to be a father, friend and partner.
The strongest feeling I got from this book is an appreciation of the time I am given. So often we think if we only had more time we could really live the life we’ve always wanted. I really ended this book with a big sigh of contentment and the knowledge that I don’t need to wait for some future date to start living.
If you haven’t “met” Drew Magary yet, this would be the perfect introduction to his work. Get out there and start living (and reading)!