Ryan's Reviews > The Postmortal

The Postmortal by Drew Magary
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's review
Dec 02, 11

Read in December, 2011

I've been reading Drew Magary on Deadspin and other sports blogs for a long time, and have become pretty familiar with his writing style and the topics he most likes to write about. If you're like me, put all of that kind of stuff aside before you read the book, because this couldn't be a bigger departure. I mean that as a compliment too, because I thought this was an excellent book, smart, clever, and yet horrifying all at once.

It is the story of mankind stumbling across the cure for aging in the year 2019. The reader is told the story of John Farrell in 20 year increments. What begins as a neat advancement that betters the lives of the world's citizens in 2019 is already having dire effects when the story jumps ahead to 2029, and by the time it jumps to 2059 and again to 2079, it has evolved into a full-blown global catastrophe. With the average lifespan extending almost exponentially, humanity has essentially turned into a plague on the Earth, wiping out resources and crowding out every other species and eventually themselves.

Farrell endures a tremendous amount of tragedy as the clock progresses forward, losing those around him he cares about to a variety of circumstances, and he morphs from a Yuppie estate lawyer at the beginning (an ironic career considering that death is about to be almost wiped out at the beginning of the book) into an "End Specialist" as the book progresses, a job which starts off with him counseling people who wish to be put to death but moves quickly into him essentially playing bounty hunter.

All in all, this was excellent, though the huge gaps of time that pass in the story do leave the reader guessing at certain international developments and a bit uncertain at times just how the world has reacted and been affected outside of Farrell's immediate periphery.

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