Post-Apocalypse Dead Letter Office
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Post-Apocalypse Dead Letter Office

3.14 of 5 stars 3.14  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A collection of undelivered letters chronicles the intersecting stories of the survivors of a mysterious event that sends the world back to a technologically pre-industrial age.With its first letter set years into a new era, Post-Apocalypse Dead Letter Office chronologically works its way back to the abrupt, unexpected end of the modern world. Through the letters of the su...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published April 4th 2011 by Oscura Press
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I really like the idea of this book, but it falls down on execution. My main issue was that all the letter-writers sounded the same, regardless of their circumstances, so you couldn't actually tell them apart except by the headers and so on. The other issue was that it's not a good format to tell a story: the narrative isn't continuous, by its very nature. I think that could've been overcome, but this writer couldn't pull it off.

Then there's also the issue that real letters wouldn't be written l...more
Erin (PT)
I found this book to be a great deal like Do Not Enter: Dead Inside. Some of the parallels are obvious: both are epistolary novels and both concern themselves with apocalyptic events. In Do Not Enter, it's a zombie apocalypse; with Dead Letter Office it's a more mundane—and yet more inexplicable—loss of the ability to make electricity. Both are based on web projects that were later developed as novels. And, unfortunately, they both share the flaw of a conceit that's more interesting than its exe...more
What an excellent respite this was! This post-apocalypse novel is quite positive compared to most novels of its ilk. Instead of the now dull trope of "WE WILL ALL BECOME SHAKING CANNIBALS (or, if one is a woman, an enslaved whore)!", humans survive, and survive pretty well.

People begin rebuilding society with trade, travel, communication, farming. It is a civilization that is immediately recognizable and yet, refreshingly different. Also, bikes are highly prominent throughout; a brilliantly sim...more
Deborah Stanish
I really wanted to love this book. Not only because I've been eating dystopian novels like chips and the concept of this sounded fantastic but also because I have a fondness for epistolary works. Unfortunately, this didn't quite deliver. The scope and concept were great but the basic execution faltered.

The concept of using "dead letters" to tell a story poses a challenge - there is no continuing character for readers to connect with. By necessity, each letter must stand alone and tell a story....more
I first heard about Nate's project several years ago, and when he asked me to contribute, I was thrilled. My task was to copy down one of the letters on whatever medium I chose (the backs of wrappings from canned goods). I had a vague idea about the premise of his novel, which is told entirely through letters, and I was intrigued. I have only read one other novel told through letters, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and that was wonderful. The letters in this novel were writte...more
Jack Hope III
5/16/11 I plan to have this read before the authors book signing and public reading at The Raven in Lawrence, Kansas on June 2nd.

7/7/11 Finished. A fun read. Not bad for a first novel by a local author... perhaps I'm biased because of that. Of course, I also love dystopian fiction and bicycles, so this book seemed almost perfect for me.

I did have trouble following the style. Reading "dead" letters in reverse chronological order from different authors with different perspectives was very interest...more
The apocalypse is, thankfully, an open book at this point. As it pertains to us, anyways. This book gives an idea of what it might be like, and it does it in an honest, open, and engaging way that did not scare the wholly living crap out of me, but made me think that yes, maybe if I play my cards right and don't get too despondent I can come out on the other side and maybe ride my bike around some more. And you just might, too.

A thoughtful, potentially accurate, scary, adventurous, mid-western,...more
This is almost a positive vision of the apocalypse, if that makes sense. It reminded me a little of Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America, in that the US post-electricity reverts back to the 18th century, with the addition of a shitload of weed. Poell is clearly coming from a punk/DIY perspective, which gets a little overwhelming at times in its idealism, but is a nice change from "bands of roving lunatics killing people" or "people in electronics-obsessed world lose all humanity" plo...more
The idea behind this is really clever. I wanted this to be a good read but like others I was disappointed in the execution. The world seems a little too benign after such a collapse. There was something 'samey' about the letters themselves. The nature of the apocalypse was too vague but the effects weren't believable. I felt disappointed with the book at the end - it should have been a good book.
A nice piece of work. Pretty positive, given the title. An emphasis on the average person making it in the absence of all those technological advancements presently perceived to be necessary to making it. Pro-local farming, -bicycling, -herbal remedies, -libraries and a bike-based pony express, all told in letters back-and-forth. Give it a go.
I truly enjoyed this book. I enjoyed reading it a bit slowly so that I could ponder how each letter writer/reader may have fared. A nice first novel; and I hope Nate writes many more.
Promising premise, but damn. Almost gave it one star. Wasn't engrossed in the least at any time. Sorry author(s). :(
Now that I'm finished, I may have to read it again. Perhaps I'll read it back to front this time.
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