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Publisher's Summary

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.

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. 

©2020 David Brin (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Postman

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Profile Image for Ed Pegg Jr
  • Ed Pegg Jr
  • 09-12-2020

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night

After the end of the world, a desperate wanderer finds a mail truck. He starts faking being a postman ...


I read the original story back in 1984. Back then, I didn't believe that society could fall apart in my lifetime.


Here in the future, 2020, we've had a year of extreme polarization in a pandemic. One thing holding society together has been the postal service. "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." The USPS has been in the news a lot in 2020. I don't want to dwell on that -- but all that happened made the book more relevant. The book got renewed life and the author made an update. This revised 2020 edition is what gets read here.

Here in 2020, The Postman was a lot more powerful for me. The narration by Kevin Kenerly is excellent.


Highly recommended.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew W. Moore
  • 24-02-2021

Painful Narrator - Just Read it Yourself

The story is above average for this genre. The problem is that the narrator is incapable of reading complete sentences. His voice is fine, but he read the entire book in fragmented phrases: 3-4 words, pause; 6-8 words, pause; 5-6 words, pause. The pauses don't line up with any form of punctuation. They will be in the middle of prepositional phrases. They will be in the middle of important character speech. Overall, a very frustrating listen.

13 people found this helpful

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  • BookReader
  • 01-03-2021

The Postman

Yes. This is the book on which the Kevin Kostner movie is based, and the original novel was published in the mid-1990s. Read the book, it's better.

That said, the story takes place sixteen years after an EMP apocalypse wipes out most of humanity. In his mid-30s, Gordon, a wanderer who earns his meager living by telling stories and entertaining small clusters of survivors. While on the highway, he's robbed - Gordon stumbles across a 16-year-old USPS Jeep. He gives the driver a proper burial and takes, to get warm. a USPS uniform, and his life changes.

His appearance as a Postman lifts the hopelessness of the people he meets. They believe America is coming back, and he is all the proof they need. Gordon doesn't have the heart to tell them the truth, so takes mail from them, and trudges to the next town. Over time, Gordon becomes a Postman. No spoilers, but Gordon's travels are at once perilous and uplifting - will he maintain this ruse? Should he?

Written by David Brin, narrated by Kevin Kenerly, ten hours of listening in unabridged audiobook format, the audiobook released in December 2020 by Blackstone Publishing.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Theda
  • 24-01-2021

Portentous

Wonderfully written and riveting! Also portentous of what is happening in the US today. A must read.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Me
  • 16-05-2021

Purposely finished the book before learning more

about the author. I am from MN and the many references, both direct and indirect that I could (and did) easily associate with "some things" Minnesota gave me pause to think this guy was or is from here. Here are the hard references I identified, things like:
City Names, both large and small
Street names
Rural county references
The agricultural nature/export aspects of much of the state's business.

Not bad to read and I realize that fiction doesn't have to reference anything, so that was pretty neat to discover. I'll even give Brin a pass for recycling the HAL model, which I was hoping wouldn't happen. The other points were definite negatives to the story which could easily have been written by a typical over the top, smug Minnesotan (most from MN are not, just the loud ones). Things like the Hipster generation being superior in many ways to others (about as bull as the MN Nice concept, which is a load of crap, as those who push it can be real pieces of work; the feminist movement, for example, in a conversation with the main character by an adopted, young, overly brilliant young woman, (to paraphrase...)"so Gordon, even though not all men are bad, we're going to go ahead anyway and say that men, not idiots or idiotic behavior found in every age, sex and walk of life in all of time, is really the best group to blame for all the world's calamities....doesn't that follow logically". Really?? Throw in the collective hatred demonstrated by the female scouts, apparently against men in general, and for no reason offered.
Which leads me to the main reason I gave the book this rating, and to discover to my surprise the author wasn't from this area. Once Brin dropped into this track of themes, it was entirely predictable, and therefore was really a bore for an ending. He had an interesting concept in a storyline going at the beginning. Hippy Cyborg hero curveball for extra credit? Nope. Too bad.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Robert Becker
  • 29-12-2020

perfect choice for narrator.

i will turn off my fav book if i cant stand the narrator. this was great.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Clara
  • 10-09-2021

Ah no.

Overall I enjoyed this book, but you would think feminism hadn’t been invented by the 1990’s from listening to it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Charles Klauder
  • 18-12-2020

excellent story. enjoyed it very much.

I enjoyed the movie back in the day and had the book recomended to me by a friend. I enjoyed the story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lokin
  • 15-02-2021

Bittersweet

This is one of my favorite books of all time. I absolutely adore the writing and have heard it read by a few narrators.

As much as I love the story, the narrator seemed a tad too quick in his reading. This detracted from some of the emphasis on David Brin's writing. It was still enjoyable. However, I personally believe that it would have benefitted from a different pace, in regards to the reading.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nicholas
  • 17-10-2021

Builds to an amazing finish

I happen to like the movie but don’t make the mistake of thinking the movie and book are the same.

The plot meanders at first but then it builds and all the pieces come together. Narration was great too!

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  • Luke Greenstreet
  • 13-08-2021

A book I would never have tried without Unlimited

I absolutely loved this!!
the narration has some irrelevant pauses but once you get used to the tempo you will love this original story that had me gripped

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dave
  • 07-10-2021

Ending prevents it from being great

Personally, I thought the narrator was fine - didn't notice them once (that isn't meant to sound derogatory, I think good narrators are like good football referees: if they're doing their job well, they don't draw attention to themselves).
The story [no spoilers]: Halfway through the book it dawned on me that it was one of the best post-apocalyptic books I had read; up there with The Stand, On the Beach, The Road, and The Scarlet Plague. I loved the intermissions. I loved the change of direction halfway through. I loved it all. Some of the writing is superb. I thought the scene with the snow falling was painted particularly well -a rare flush of literary brilliance in an era when most writers feel the need to fill their novels with incessant dialogue. But then the ending happened...
All of the main characters somehow manage to track each other down in the middle of no-where (the main protagonist having noted how easy it is to avoid detection in a forest only a chapter or two before). This really bugged me. Then the story switches to full on 80's action movie mode for the climatic showdown: think Arnie in "Commando", or some cheesy 80's kid's cartoon.
Then it commits another of fiction's great sins: deep dialogue in the middle of a high-stress situation. In real life adrenaline fuelled folks might babble incoherently, but deep philosophical debates moments after life-or-death combat only occur in the minds of deskbound writers.
Overall, I thought the finale was rushed and ill-judged. It was like Game of Thrones all over again, only shorter...
If this book had been 20 hours long, was full of (semi) self-contained stories like "Cyclops", and the climax had been better crafted, it would undoubtitbly be considered one of the greats. Instead it's just "okay". That said, it's well worth a listen, just don't be surprised if you're left with a feeling of mild disappointment.

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