Review: The Postmortal by Drew Magary
August 24, 2011 § 4 Comments
|The Postmortal: A Novel
John Farrell is about to get “The Cure.”
Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and-after much political and moral debate-made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems-including evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors. Witty, eerie, and full of humanity, The Postmortal is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a pre-apocalyptic world so real that it is completely terrifying.
What if a group of scientists found a cure for aging? Would you want it? This cure doesn’t encompass any diseases like cancer, AIDS, or even the common flu. So, while anyone receiving the “cure” would not age, they would still be susceptible to illness or injury. As the book explains, you would only be assured that when you do die, it would not be peacefully in your bed of old age, you pretty much are guaranteed that it will be nothing so easy. There are plenty of other ways to die, and plenty of other people who want to make sure you do. Drew Magary explores these issues and many of the possible results of this so-called “cure” such as overwhelming population growth, the horrific ways people abuse the “cure”, and all of the extreme religious and socio economic repercussions and then presents it in an extremely entertaining and entirely readable narrative.
To say I was blown away by The Postmortal would be an understatement. The cartoon-like cover image and back cover blurb did not prepare me for how crazy-good this book actually was. I wasn’t expecting it. This was so cleverly written. I was drawn in by the rich dark humor and the blunt, candid way the story is told. I would describe this as the “much cooler big brother” to all of the other dystopian novels I’ve read. I can literally picture some of these events happening within my own lifetime. And that is frightening.
The Postmortal chronicles one man, John Farrell’s journey into postmortal life, after receiving the “cure”. The story is told via John’s personal journal and from some of the news articles and blurbs from various news feeds he included in that journal. John is almost an anti-hero, flawed in so many ways but his story is still so compelling. The news articles keep the reader updated on what is going on throughout the world and then John’s journal shows how these things are affecting people on a more personal level, how they are living through and with these changes. I thought it was a very original and effective way to present a story.
This world was a terrifyingly realistic place that is all too familiar. The most frightening thing about The Postmortal is that it was so believable. From the strange religious cult to the shady government dealings, and even the mysteriously malevolent “greenies” all of it followed a very conceivable logical sequence. I was both extremely entertained and terrified at the possibility that any of this could actually happen.
The Postmortal was easily my favorite read of 2011. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a thrilling dystopian adventure as well as anyone who simply wants to be thoroughly entertained.