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The Postmortal

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  5,606 ratings  ·  829 reviews
John Farrell is about to get "The Cure."

Old age can never kill him now.

The only problem is, everything else still can...

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,
Paperback, 369 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Penguin Group USA
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Community Reviews

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I'm out of book reviewing shape (among other kinds of shape), and it's hard to get back into the swing of things (if there ever was a swing). I always have a number of false starts when trying to write reviews. I usually start off with an idea for a review only to grow frustrated and switch into adjectival blabber.

So after three false starts let's see if I can get this thing reviewed.

What would happen to our world when the cure for aging, and thus dying of old age, is commonly available?
Michael William West
It's hard, with some books, to figure out what point on the five star scale to land on. This could have been a 2,3 or 4, so I've copped out a little and ended with a 3. The problem with the Postmortal, or the End Specialist as it is more appropriately named in the UK, is quite well illustrated by its two different titles. It's not quite able to be what it wants to be, which is the Postmortal - a fascinating, pragmatic and restrained deconstruction of a future where no one needs to get old and di ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I had difficulty deciding which style to use to review this book, so I was only able to narrow it down to four possibilities:

a) Succinct: Fake characters with fake quirks being fake.

b) Ad homenem attack: Lazy-ass writers shouldn't tackle interesting ideas.

c) Pop-culture reference: Remember that kid who gave the monologue at the beginning of Malcom in the Middle? Age him 20 years and make him one-third as insightful and you have the protagonist of this novel.

d) Social criticism: This novel demons
Rachel Popham
A testament to unimaginative large-scale misery porn, this book translates everything that's condescending, brainless, and voiceless about lazy dystopian fiction into something approaching bullet-point format.
The premise of the story is good, a cure for ageing and the whole futuristic world presented here can be some interesting reading. Saying that the plot needed more attention I found the story as it progressed did not engross me the reader enough. The story has a lot going for it the inventive storyline but just missing some key basics that made this read drag on for me which I did not expect.
Miquel Codony
Bajo una u otra forma, la inmortalidad forma parte del repertorio habitual de la ciencia ficción pero no recuerdo ningún título en el que sea el tema principal de una novela o, al menos, no con el enfoque de Drew Magary.

El punto de partida de The Postmortal (publicado en español con el título Eterna Juventud por Minotauro) es simple: de forma casi accidental la humanidad descubre un tratamiento que interrumpe el proceso de envejecimiento convirtiendo a todos aquellos con acceso a él en post-mo
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

The Postmortal is told from John Farrell’s POV,from 60 years of collected text files that were recovered in 2093. John,a divorce lawyer,decides,after much though,that he’s going to get “The Cure.” The cure in question is the cure for aging,oddly discovered while trying to isolate the gene for hair color during a rather frivolous experiment by a scientist at the U. of Oregon. The problem is that the cure has been banned by
Donna  Happy Booker
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 o ...more
I was so excited to read this book, I guess it was almost inevitable that it would let me down. It was an amazingly quick read. I read it as an ebook so I don't really have an idea of how thick it is in print; I'm guessing rather thin.
The book is written in the form of blog entries discovered long after the death of their author, and that central conceit is both instantly dated and gives the story no space. Because the idea of a blog is short pointed commentary, there's no room for interpretati
I was expecting something funny and light, but The Postmortal turned out to be surprisingly serious and somewhat disturbing. I really enjoyed it, although the final section dragged a little and the stuff with Solara just didn't really work for me. The Solara storyline seemed like it came out of nowhere. The story of how the world copes with an ageless population was fascinating and some of my favorite parts of the book were the news articles and transcripts that didn't deal so much with John's p ...more
Ranting Dragon

What if you could simply stop aging? This is the question that lies at the heart of Drew Magary’s debut novel, The Postmortal. Told through what is essentially a series of electronic diary entries written by a man named John Farrell, The Postmortal chronicles the near-future where a cure for aging has been discovered and humanity has taken its first tentative steps toward immortality.

Living forever—that’s great, right?
Maybe not. The cure for aging that spa
Colin Taylor
Shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke award in 2012, and debut novel for Drew Magary, The End Specialist is a book of sound concept and deep imagination. It successfully steers away from getting embroiled in the detailed minutae of a vast future world in which the end to aging has been discovered, the Cure (no, not the band), and instead narrates the story through the viewpoint of a single man. There is a little bit of dystopia box ticking, but in general this novel feels original enough to warran ...more
There's a lot to really like about this book. Most reviews mention this book's ability to dismantle the concept of immortality down to its absolute bare bones and explore every possible negative outcome, and that is really true: Peter Pan babies! Cycle marriages! Meaninglessness of professional sports records! Birth date tattoos!

What's funny is that the narrative device (the text is a blog kept by the narrator recovered at a later future date) reminded me a lot of The Handmaid's Tale. In actuali
David Hebblethwaite
Reviewed as part of the 2012 Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist.

A few years hence, an accidental scientific discovery has led to a treatment which will halt the process of ageing; barring disease or accident, immortality may be yours – provided you can afford the fee, of course. Divorce lawyer John Farrell has the ‘cure’ (as it’s known) in 2019, weeks before it is legalised in the USA. We then follow his life at various intervals over the course of the following sixty years, during which Farrell u
Mar 05, 2012 Anna rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
First of all, I have to say the choice of writing the book in the format of John's blog is just brilliant. It's an odd choice, stylistically, but it's incredibly effective here, giving a touch of realism we'd lose if Magary had gone with a more traditional first-person narrative.

A lot of The Postmortal is bleak. This book doesn't think much of mankind (or anything else, really) and is more than willing to push that viewpoint at us. Given that Drew Magary has made a name for himself as a humouris
This book is one of those amazing game changers that you only get once in awhile. While it is fiction, what happens in the book would almost certainly happen in the real world, were those situations presented to us. That makes it even more intense. I can't explain it, just read this book!!!
Interesting premise let down by flat characters

The 'Postmortal', or 'The End Specialist' as it is known in the UK has an incredibly interesting premise. Imagine a world in which a cure is discovered for old age, meaning that with just one little injection you will never age a day in your semi-immortal life. Now I say semi-immortal, because this is a still a world in which you can be murdered or die of cancer, but a world where the young and beautiful can stay young and beautiful seemingly forev
Frank Parsons
Thought provoking and well-written, Magary imagines a near future where a cure for aging (but not death) has been discovered and is eventually made available to all. The author uses the trope of found records to recreate a story. Other reviewers have compared the storytelling to Handmaids Tale but to be honest, I instantly thought Dracula. The author uses this plot device to good ends though and moves things along at the right pace.

While I don't agree with a few of the speculations the author pr
My review for this darkly funny-turned-just plain dark novel can be found here:

An excerpt:
If this novel has one significant drawback, it’s that even if the particulars remain unknown, its general trajectory follows a path familiar to anyone versed in dystopian stories. The broad satire of the first half gives way to much more sinister developments in the second, and its thrilling conclusion feels almost preordained.

Mr. Magary is a writer for Deadspin, a we
The End Specialist is a what-if novel, asking "what if someone discovered a cure for aging". It takes the format of a series of blog posts / diary entries, covering a span of several decades. It's split into four different episodes, each covering a timespan of a few weeks / months in a particular year.

The title is really only applicable to the last two sections of the book - there are no "End Specialists" for the first half of the story.

As a pseudo-blog, the story does not always have a distinc
Aaron Goldfarb
Drew Magary is one of my favorite writers on the entire internet (I never miss a Deadspin Funbag), so I thought I finally owed him legitimate money for his time. Not to mention, I was damn curious to see if his writing worked in a fictional narrative form. It kind of did.

"The Postmortal" is an absolutely killer idea (if you follow the Funbag you know Drew likes wacky hypotheticals) and I liked how the book is arranged, I just didn't love it.

Drew is an enviably effortless writer and I was indee
"Cure for aging" stories are a dime a dozen in SF, with Joe Haldeman's Buying Time probably my favorite example of the genre. Postmortal covers much of the same emotional ground as Haldeman's book, except that it's a good deal more depressing.

Immortality is rarely seen as a positive thing in science fiction and this book is no exception. The problem here is that it becomes so relentlessly depressing that there seems to be no upside to "The Cure" at all. Everything goes straight to hell immediate
This is one of the most thought provoking books I've read in a long while. The premise of the book is that it's part of a long lost digital diary of one man shortly after the cure of aging has been discovered and goes through 75ish years, skipping around a bit. I found it absolutely fascinating, not just because the writing is good (it is), but because of all the issues it brought up. I had to stop and ponder so many things. Things like: If no one dies of old age, where are we going to put all t ...more
Rachel Pollock
I tend to enjoy this sort of postmodern-collage take on the epistolary novel, so this book sucked me in. It's not without its first-novel flaws but i still got really invested in reading it.

Perhaps because of the form, it's light on descriptive passages but heavy on the kind of navelgazing reflection of its protagonist/narrator, but he's blogging so ok, fine. I was disappointed that a lot of the artifacts included in the first part of the book--headlines, news stories, lists, etc--kind of disap
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I picked this up because it was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, and it jumped into my arms at the public library.

I like the premise of the story, and the overarching storytelling technique. The premise is that an American scientist discovered the cure for aging, and the main narrator in the story had the cure. Most of the book chapters are accounts from his e-mail or the news during the time, and a few break and go into plain narrative.

This isn't just an idea book though. The author ta
When John Farrell finds out about the cure, he knows he has to have it. It stops you from aging, and at 29 years old, he could potentially live forever–barring accidents, murder, etc. He would have hundreds or thousands of years to do all of the things he always wanted to do. Absolute freedom. The cure is illegal, but that isn’t about to stop him. We watch John as the world changes around him, affected by people who do not age, and an ever-growing population. What should bring happiness doesn’t ...more
The Postmortal is a powerful book. Magary takes an honest look at society's reaction to not aging - constant partying, marriages fall apart, the earth's resources are dwindling. We see John Farrell, a wise-cracking lawyer, who's life changes markedly throughout the book as he gets older without aging. His optimism turns to skepticism, even on to hopelessness. The storyline is very dark in this book, but Magary manages to add humor and lighten the mood in just the right places.

It's an interestin
Anna R
I 've been interested in that books since it has been announced that it's gonna be published in Poland. Drew Magary wrote a great book though I've expected somethind different. I thought that it's gonna be an interesting, funny book, but when I started to read this I knew that I was wrong. It's a pesimistic, depressing book, easy to read but also so written with such a good style that the vision of future when nobody dies because of age is depressing and a little bit frightening. If I culd desci ...more
Wow. So I grabbed this off the shelf at work about four months ago because the blurb interested me. I cannot believe I wasted four months not reading this book.

The End Specialist chronicles the life of a man born the year before me (terrifyingly enough) who witnesses the cure for aging in 2019, and all the subsequent developments in the world as a result of it.

I was expecting a neat science-fiction story, what I was not expecting was an incredibly cynical, disturbing and frighteningly easily bel
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“Death is the only thing keeping us in line.” 8 likes
“You become a parent, and your whole life becomes about worrying. You just worry constantly whether they'll be okay. And the idea that I'll be worried forever about them and what they do...I almost have a panic attack when I think about it. I'm worried, and I'm worried about having to worry so goddamn much.” 6 likes
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