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The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

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A beautifully tragic and thought-provoking tale that perfectly reflects the elegance and style of Murakami and the skill and plotting of Julian Barnes Bilodo lives a solitary daily life, routinely completing his postal rounds every day and returning to his empty Montreal apartment. But he has found a way to break the cycle—Bilodo has taken to stealing people's mail, steaming open the envelopes, and reading the letters inside. And so it is he comes across Ségolène's letters. She is corresponding with Gaston, a master poet, and their letters are each composed of only three lines. They are writing each other haikus. The simplicity and elegance of their poems move Bilado and he begins to fall in love with her. But one day, out on his round, he witnesses a terrible and tragic accident. Just as Gaston is walking up to the post-box to mail his next haiku to Ségolène, he is hit by a car and dies on the side of the road. And so Bilodo makes an extraordinary decision—he will impersonate Gaston and continue to write to Ségolène under this guise. But how long can the deception continue for? Denis Thériault weaves a passionate and elegant tale, comic and tragic with a love story at its heart.

119 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2005

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About the author

Denis Thériault

8 books81 followers
Denis Thériault, romancier et scénariste, est diplômé en psychologie. Il a été quatre fois finaliste aux prix Gémeaux. Son premier roman, L’iguane (XYZ, 2001), a remporté le prix France-Québec 2001, le prix Anne-Hébert 2002, l’Odyssée 2002 et le Combat des livres 2007 de Radio-Canada. Son deuxième roman, Le facteur émotif (XYZ, 2005), a remporté le Prix littéraire Canada-Japon 2006. Ses romans sont publiés au Canada anglais, en Allemagne, en Chine et en France.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 845 reviews
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,465 reviews3,628 followers
June 29, 2023
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman is a romantic, poetical and weird tale… And it is also tinged with a wee bit of magical realism…
As it is clear from the title the protagonist is a postman…
It wasn’t all roses, of course. There were those blasted advertising flyers to be delivered; the backaches, the sprains and other run-of-the-mill injuries; there were the crushing summer heatwaves, the autumn rains that left you soaked to the skin, the black ice in winter, which turned the city into a perilous ice palace, and the cold that could be biting, just like the dogs for that matter – a postman’s natural enemies.

He is quite glad with his calling… However he has – innocent in his eyes – a secret passion… He opens and reads private missives… And there is his favourite correspondent… A young beautiful woman…
That’s how it was. Bilodo lived vicariously. To the dullness of real life he preferred his infinitely more colourful, more thrilling, interior serial drama. And of all the clandestine letters that constituted this fascinating little virtual world, none mobilized or enchanted him more than the ones from Ségolène.

A tragic event, that he accidentally becomes a witness to, crucially changes his life… He turns into a poet writing in the genre of haiku… He is in love and happy… But his life prepares for him a big surprise…
A flower flies from
the hair of the fruit vendor
it’s a butterfly

Happiness is always capable to make one’s life appear complete.
Profile Image for Cathrine.
Author 3 books24 followers
September 29, 2014
This book will make you
ponder life and time and self
Identity, time and love.
Profile Image for Jaline.
444 reviews1,648 followers
June 7, 2017
Our postman of the story, Bilodo, has an insatiable curiosity regarding people who write real letters to each other instead of using electronic mail or phoning each other. His curiosity eventually finds him steaming open random letters to read before re-sealing them and sending them on.

Then, he happens upon a correspondence where a woman sends only a single haiku in the envelope. Bilodo is very moved by this and makes a point of opening each of her offerings before re-sealing them and delivering them to the intended recipient.

Bilodo is transfixed and mesmerized by the haiku he reads, and he rapidly becomes enamored with the writer. She sends a picture of herself in one of the envelopes and he makes a digital copy of it before dutifully passing the envelope along.

Due to a series of circumstances, Bilodo eventually attempts to pass himself off as the original recipient of the woman’s poetic offerings, and does everything he can to match the style and writing of the fellow. He researches haiku, Japanese writing, and the haiku masters and spends many hours and goes through a lot of paper before he is finally satisfied with his first offering.

Where all this leads Bilodo and how it affects those around him, including his co-workers and his daily contacts at the place he lunches every work day generates a story that is as fascinating as it is, at times, unsettling.

The poetry in this book is quite amazing, especially considering the author re-wrote the entire book when he decided to use haiku instead of prose as the medium of communication between the man and the woman. He then taught himself (in parallel to our postman) how to write them and not only that, but we are reading them in two voices, and sometimes three as Bilodo’s confidence takes off and he strays from the texture of the original man’s poems into his own style.

This book is to have a sequel, and that is good news for this reader as I definitely want to learn more about these characters and where they evolve to next.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys multiple instances of symbolism in their books, and anyone who enjoys a generous dollop of poetry in their cup of prose.
Profile Image for Lars Jerlach.
Author 3 books161 followers
September 22, 2017
I found Denis Thériault's ‘The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman' to be a wonderfully written poetic achievement and one that succinctly encompasses the eternal questions of love, existence and death.
The internal and tangential wisdom of the ancient style of Japanese poetry contributes greatly to the narratives peculiar, delicate note and support the characters in the story extremely well.
It might be a fairly short novel, but it is however a greatly rewarding piece of literature and one that continues to linger in the periphery of the mind well after you finish reading.
Profile Image for Laysee.
519 reviews250 followers
April 18, 2018
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman is a quirky, charming and playful story that will appeal to the incurable romantic and lover of poetry. If you enjoy reading haiku poetry and appreciate Zen culture, you will be enchanted. Yet, lest you think this very short book is all sweetness and light, it is not. The story becomes increasingly bizarre and the denouement at the end will leave you dazed and gasping for air.

Bilodo is a shy Montreal postman who is a bit of a recluse. His only companion is Bill, his goldfish. No one has ever written him a letter. Bilodo has a secret vice that breaks all the rules and ethical code of his profession. He steams open personal letters and lives vicariously the soap opera lives of the correspondents. ‘It was a crime, he was aware of that, but guilt paled into insignificance beside supreme curiosity.’ I felt like a voyeur eavesdropping, too; strangely, Thériault’s treatment of Bilodo's behavior was so innocuously playful that I forgot briefly how wrong it all was.

For two years, Bilodo has been intercepting a flirtatious exchange between two pen pals who write nothing but haikus to each other. Bilodo falls in love with Ségolène, a young teacher from Gaudaloupe, and grows jealous of Grandpre, the local academic who is recipient of her luscious ‘living fragments of eternity’. He starts reading up about haikus and becomes acquainted with well known poets such as Matsuo Basho, Taneda Santoka, Nagata Koi and Kobayashi Issa. Love is a powerful motivation to learn and write poetry. For me, it is hard to resist a character who appreciates beautiful poetry.

A situation arises when Bilodo realizes to his horror that his link to Ségolène has been rudely severed. Bilodo then hits on a plan to learn to write haikus to connect with her. I read Bilodo’s haiku drafts and was hugely entertained. This one is my favorite and had me laughing outloud:

The sun is rising
like a golden cheese -
now let’s go and have breakfast

I enjoyed learning about the haiku, the renku and the tanka. The haikus in this story were lovely to read. (There are some hilariously crappy tanka poems as well.) I also learned about Zen and the concept of enso. The latter plays a central and very important role in this love story that is fantastical in part.

The light-heartedness of the love via haiku tale slowly dissipates until dark clouds gather and a titanic storm sweeps all the poetry away. The denouement hit me like a thunderbolt out of a clear blue sky. However, the signs were all there and I finally understood the intent of Thériault’s craft.

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman should be savored with a pot of Japanese green tea or a matcha ice-cream.
Profile Image for Maciek.
567 reviews3,413 followers
January 25, 2015
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman tells the story of Bilobo, a quiet and otherwise unremarkable postman living a rather solitary existence in Montreal. But Bilodo harbors a rather naughty secret - he steals mail that he is supposed to deliver, steams open the envelopes and reads the letters inside. It is in this way that he is introduced to Ségolène, a Guadeloupean woman corresponding with a man on his postal route, Grandpré.

Ségolène sends Grandpré short haikus, with which he quickly becomes obsessed; he makes copies of each and falls in love with Ségolène, despite never talking to her. When one day Grandpré conveniently dies in a tragic accident - hit by a car, no less - Bilodo decides to impersonate him and write back under his name, just to keep Ségolène's haikus coming. But for how long can he keep up the deception?

Although Bilodo is clearly meant to be a sympathetic character - he's lonely and socially awkward, and has no one close even the fellow post worker whom he considers to be his friend is abusive towards him. Bilodo is presented as a genuinely lonely and largely sad person, whose only joy in life comes from exploring the lives of other people via reading their mail. We are supposed to feel sad for him, and he is created as a character with whom we should sympathize with - if you can get over the fact that he steals and reads other people's private letters, not only breaking the law but also breaking in into their lives via their private correspondence, uninvited. if Bilodo was more business savvy he would have found employment in the local NSA - we can feel sad for him because he has no friends, but we can't excuse - or romanticize - what he is doing. Perhaps it's the translation from French, but the language reads in a very artificial, constructed way - making it even harder to connect with Bilodo and care about him.

This would be a more successful novel if the author had the idea to take it to a dark place - actually present Bilodo as a stalker and have him act out in a gruesome way, instead of trying to create a sympathetic and innocent character. But he doesn't, and the novel limply whimpers out at the end - leaving little impression behind and few reasons to say positive things about it, except for the fact that it was mercifully short.
Profile Image for Vishy.
680 reviews216 followers
January 13, 2015
I haven’t heard of Denis Thériault before, till I got this book from one of my friends as a Christmas present. I read the story outline on the inside flap and before I knew I was into the book and couldn’t stop reading it. Though it is the size of a novella at slightly over a hundred pages, it is a book that I enjoyed reading slowly and lingering over my favourite sentences. Here is what I think.

‘The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman’ is the story of a postman called Bilodo. He is twenty-seven years old. He is an introvert. He is not really lonely, though it might appear that way to others, because he leads a rich interior life. His everyday routine is simple and inconspicuous – he goes to work in the morning, sorts the mail and then takes the ones allotted to him and delivers them to their respective addresses. But in the night after having dinner, he is a different person. He takes out personal letters which he was supposed to deliver during the day, and which he has hidden inside his jacket, and steams them open and secretly reads the correspondence, taking a peak into the private lives of strangers. After reading those conversations and taking copies of those letters, he delivers the letters the next day.

At any point many such postal conversations are going on – by people who don’t like email, but love putting pen to paper and writing beautiful letters and enjoying the pleasure of anticipation by waiting for the reply. As the book describes it :

“More alluring by far were letters from others. Real letters, written by real people who preferred the sensual act of writing by hand, the delightfully languorous anticipation of the reply, to the reptilian coldness of the keyboard and instantaneity of the Internet – people for whom the act of writing was a deliberate choice and in some cases, one sensed, a matter of principle, a stand taken in favour of a lifestyle not quite so determined by the race against time and the obligation to perform.”

Reading those letters marks the highpoint of Bilodo’s day. Out of all the epistolary conversations, Bilodo’s favourite is the one between Ségolène and Gaston Grandpré. Ségolène lives in Guadeloupe and she and Gaston have been corresponding for a while. Bilodo is able to read Ségolène’s letters because those are the ones he has to deliver, but he is not able to read Gaston’s replies to them. So he imagines what Gaston’s replies could be and enjoys making up that part of the conversation. Ségolène and Gaston correspond by poems and when Bilodo researches more on the poetic form they favour, he discovers that it is the Japanese poetic form Haiku. He reads more about that and he is able to understand Ségolène’s poems better. And then one day the unfortunate thing happens. Gaston, while trying to post a letter, gets knocks down by a truck and dies. And with that, our hero Bilodo’s only link to Ségolène is severed. His life is no longer interesting and he always feels dull and tired. And then one day he hits on plan. It decides to impersonate Gaston and continue the correspondence with Ségolène. But before that he has to learn how to write Haiku.

Is Bilodo able to successfully impersonate Gaston? How does his poetic correspondence with Ségolène go? How does their relationship progress? Does Ségolène discover his real identity? The answers to these questions form the rest of the story.

I loved ‘The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman’. It is a beautiful, poignant love story. I loved the main characters – Bilodo, Ségolène, Gaston and the waitress Tania who likes Bilodo. I loved Denis Thériault’s beautiful prose throughout the book. At many places, I had to step back, read the passage or the sentence that I just read, linger on it for a while, and then move on to the next sentence. It was a very enjoyable experience. The book is also a love letter to the Haiku and Tanka poetic forms. I have read Haiku poems before, but reading them in context in this book was very beautiful. When Ségolène and Bilodo move from the Haiku to the Tanka form and start writing love poems and then later revert back to the Haiku form – as the book describes it :

“And so the history of the haiku’s birth repeated itself : stripped of superfluous words…the naked essence of the poetry emerged.”

– it was quite wonderful to follow the evolution of their relationship through their poetic journey. The book also inspired me to read more Haiku and Tanka poems and books on Haiku and Tanka. The ending of the book was interesting – it had a Zen Buddhist, Joycean, (Alexis) Smithian perfection to it – but it was disappointing for me. I am not going to tell you what it is and spoil it. If you want to know what it is, you should read the book.

The story’s main character Bilodo, made me remember the great introverted heroes from Patrick Süskind’s novels – ‘Perfume’ and ‘The Pigeon’. When I read in the author’s interview at the end of the book that ‘Perfume’ was one of his favourite novels and Süskind was one his favourite writers, I realized that Bilodo could have been inspired by those great introverted characters.

It is still early days yet, but I have to say that this book is going to be one of my favourites of the year. Beautiful love story, introverted main character, love letters, poetry, beautiful prose, unexpected ending – what is not to like?  I will definitely be reading it again.

I will leave you with some of my favourite passages from the book.

No doubt Ségolène’s penmanship contributed greatly to this exceptional magic, for she expressed herself in a more delicate, more graceful Italian hand than Bilodo had ever had the good fortune to admire. It was a rich, imaginative handwriting, with deep downstrokes and celestial upstrokes embellished with opulent loops and precise drops – a clean, flowing script, admirably well-proportioned with its perfect thirty-degree slant and flawless interletter spacing. Ségolène’s writing was a sweet scent for the eye, an elixir, an ode. It was a graphic symphony, an apotheosis. It was so beautiful it made you weep. Having read somewhere that handwriting was a reflection of a person’s soul, Bilodo readily concluded that Ségolène’s soul must be incomparably pure. If angels wrote, surely it was like this.

She was calling. She was calling him, and he answered, also with a song, because that was how you communicated when you were a whale – you sang into the void, unafraid of the darkness that grew ever darker, ever deeper.

Here are some of my favourite haikus from the book.

Swirling like water
against rugged rocks,
time goes around and around.

The perfect beauty
the divine architecture
of a soft snowflake.

My neighbour Aimee
gardens in a floral dress
You would water her.

In the ocean depths
gloom is a meaningless word
Down there the light kills

Being a frog and
breathing through the skin,
truly the best of both worlds.

Raindrop on the leaf,
for a ladybug
a natural disaster.

Have you read ‘The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman’? What do you think about it? Do you like Haiku poems? Which of the above is your favourite?
Profile Image for Sofia.
1,180 reviews213 followers
January 7, 2022
I was rather spellbound seeing Bilodo immersing himself into that surreal bubble. Theriault creates a quiet intimate atmosphere whilst at the same time reminding us that Bilodo is surrounded by all the trappings with which we are surrounded. However he escapes them and goes into this silent bubble, another world, a world better for him, or is it?

What I loved was how Theriault not only uses haiku and tankas but his prose reflects his poetry, it's spare, lean, to the point. Words are used to the maximum effect, none are superfluous which makes for a great read in my opinion.

Very much looking forward to the next book to see where he will take me.

Fits slot 3. of my reading challenge a book of letters - letters in more ways than one, epistolary haikus - plus Bilodo is a postman - letters are his bread and butter.
Profile Image for Kris (My Novelesque Life).
4,660 reviews189 followers
June 15, 2019
2017; Oneworld Publications/Ingram Publisher Services
(Review Not on Blog)

This novel was just okay for me. I liked the quirky synopsis but Bilodo was not as an endearing character for me. I think that made this book not as enjoyable as everyone else found it. It is a quick short read.

***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS***
Profile Image for Jodi.
377 reviews94 followers
May 23, 2022
A very unusual novel, interesting and, at times, very funny. A fascinating journey into the life and mind of Bilodo - a somewhat troubled French-Canadian postal carrier. The sequel - The Postman's Fiancée - is even better, but I'd suggest reading this book first. Together, the two make for a very interesting, unique, and enjoyable story! UPDATE: I loved it so much I (accidentally) bought it TWICE!🤦‍♀️
Profile Image for Amy.
266 reviews37 followers
December 30, 2014
The best I can say about this story is that I simply didn't get it. A mailman who not only opens, reads, photocopies and saves other people's mail, but eventually buys one particular letter-writer's apartment and assumes his life after the man dies -- all to get closer to the girl whose replies turn him on? Creepy on so many levels. Not to mention very distant prose, shallow point-of-view, and other technical deficiencies. Perhaps the point of this story gets lost in translation, but it was a definite waste of time for me.
Profile Image for Dominika Žáková.
140 reviews446 followers
June 7, 2019
Mesiace som nevedela čítať.

Situácia sa zmenila a po tom, čo mi prvé strany Podivuhodného života osamělého pošťáka trvali týždne, zbytok som prečítala včera a dnes. Navždy budem mať vrytú spomienku na čerstvé bábo v jednej ruke a túto knihu v druhej.

Kniha tenučká, no o to pôsobivejšia a som vďačná, že môj čitateľský život zmŕtvychvstal práve ňou.
Poetika Pošťáka- doslovne v podobe prúdu haiku aj v podobe atmosféry knihy- mi bude vŕtať hlavou ešte dlho a pripomenula mi moju dospievaciu obľubenkyňu- Amélie Nothomb a jej Metafyziku trubíc.
Pri takomto subtílnom príbehu by som nečakala, že ma prekvapia nejaké zvraty a predsa! Nebudem prezrádzať, no celý priebeh záveru bol absurdnou lahôdkou.
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,115 followers
February 7, 2017
This short novel is about Bilodo, an "inquisitive postman," who steals the mail from two penpals exchanging letters in haiku. He witnesses the older man's death and moves into inhabit his life. The first half of this is the dottering old man trope (featuring a young man), and the second half feels like a Murakami imitation. I don't think it worked very well, but I'm so not a fan of solitary quirky characters, so I'm willing to say this just isn't for me.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kavipriya Moorthy.
Author 4 books95 followers
March 21, 2017
What an amazing book! A must read. 2 beautiful souls falling in love with each other via haiku poetry they exchange over letters. You can never pick one-best Haiku, I just all of it. I fell in love with Bilodo and Segolene.

All I expected was a simple love story when I kept reading it half way through and suddenly, the book hits with twists chapter after chapter. I loved the whole concept of the book, the characters, the theme, and the twists in the last few chapters.

Be it Bilodo, Segolene or Grandpre - when you're done with the book, you'd just want to live a day like each of the characters before.

Help yourself and read this book! :)
Profile Image for Reza Abedini.
142 reviews25 followers
May 9, 2020
اِنسو (به ژاپنی: 円相، Ensō)، (به معنی دایره)، در بوداگرایی ذن دایره‌ای است که کشیدن آن با یک یا دو حرکت کار سختی است و نشان‌دهنده لحظه‌ای است که رهایی ذهن به بدن اجازه خلاقیت می‌دهد.

داستان موضوع جالب و جديدي رو دنبال مي كرد و جذاب بود
اشعار ژاپني كه به شكل هايكو در كتاب ترجمه شده بود شايد كمي حس واقعي داستان رو براي مخاطب فارسي زبان بيان نميكرد
شروع كتاب با ارتباط عاطفي يك پستچي تنها با يكي از فرستنده هايي شروع ميشه كه پستچي به طور پنهاني نامه هاشون رو قبل از ارسال ميخونه و از فرط تنهايي عاشق يكي از اونا ميشه و زندگيش زير و رو ميشه تا اين بخش ها كتاب شايد با ارفاق ٢ ستاره ميگرفت

اما پايان بندي كتاب به طرز عجيبي قوي و فوق العاده بود
و درباره "هايكو" و نماد اِنسو در فرهنگ ژاپني بود
كه نشاندهنده تكرار و حلقه ي بينهايت هست و همين موضوع به شكل هنرمندانه اي در كتاب گنجانده شده بود كه بينهايت لذت بخش بود براي من
Profile Image for Book's Calling.
218 reviews414 followers
December 15, 2020
Úchvátný příběh osamělého pošťáka, který se skrz otevírání dopisů cizímu člověku zamiluje do ženy jménem Segelone. Ta samozřejmě nic netuší a dál posílá svá haiku. Kniha má dobrý zvrat a hodně překvapující konec, který však krásně zapadá do příběhu. Kniha obsahuje mnoho japonského včetně jich zmíněných haiku - netušil jsem, že mě haiku takto zaujmou :) A abych nezapomněl, kniha je nádherná i vizuálně (se speciální obálkou, do které se zasouvá).
Profile Image for Aisling.
Author 3 books104 followers
January 21, 2015
Not at all what I was expecting. The premise of this book was great; a lonely postman steams open correspondence between a couple and falls for the woman. When the male correspondent is killed, the lonely postman continues the correspondence. Very intriguing, right? Lots of potential for a good mystery. Instead I read a beautiful and moving (if quirky) book. There was a brief moment when I felt like this was an excuse for the author to share his knowledge of and love of haikus (and tankas) but after the first dozen you will not care--it IS fascinating and (like another reviewer said here on Goodreads) this book will change your mind if you thought haikus were simple and dull. The correspondence haikus are steamy (yes, I'm serious) and the ending made me think of Camus. Read this book if you are willing to learn something new and be carried along by an ancient Japanese art.
Profile Image for Paul Secor.
564 reviews53 followers
December 21, 2017
A good concept gone awry - at least in my opinion. This novel began as a fairly interesting character study and made its way into a Zen tale. That might be some to some people's tastes, but I'm more interested in folks than philosophy.

Some listening between spurts of reading - enjoyed the music more than parts of the novel:

Quatuor Mosaiques - Beethoven Quartets 1 & 4 (Naïve) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1T3ll...
Memphis Blues Singers Volume 2 (Frog)
Quatuor Mosaiques - Mozart Quartets Dedicated to Haydn (Naive) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spd7S...
Profile Image for Phoenix2.
864 reviews100 followers
June 14, 2021
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman is a short book that starts as a typical slice of life and spirals out of control till the final, magical realism-ish ending. The reader can feel that the main character is moving towards his own distraction and still you can't put it down, as you need to read what will happen next.

The decision to neat the main plot along with Japanese influences and poetry was an interesting choice, as it introduces the reader to another form of literature and culture. However, I've found the book stalling at times and the narration just didn't help keep me interested. The ending needs some further thinking.
Profile Image for Ivy-Mabel Fling.
444 reviews34 followers
August 5, 2023
The postman's life is certainly peculiar but perhaps understandably so due to his loneliness. He is not satisfied with the life led by his chums and decides to share the life and thoughts of Ségolène and Gaston, who correspond in haikus. This develops his literary ability but leads to some weird and not so wonderful dilemmas. The novella is a mixture of philosophy and lyricism, with a good pinch of absurdity - if you enjoy the quirkiness of much popular Japanese writing, you may well appreciate it.
Profile Image for belisa.
1,056 reviews29 followers
February 13, 2019
minik çılgın bir romandı, haikular eşliğinde güzel bir sabah geçirdim... başka kitabı var mı bakayım
Profile Image for Петър Панчев.
821 reviews126 followers
October 29, 2019
Поетичната любов на Билодо
(Цялото ревю е тук: https://knijenpetar.wordpress.com/201...)

Към книгата ме привлече игривото заглавие, макар да съм сигурен, че повечето книги на „Лист“ ще ми допаднат, основно заради добрата селекция, и в един момент ще съм ги прочел. В тази история има романтика, поезия и драма, но не е от типа претенциозни и дълги саги за вечните въпроси и отговори, които любовта предлага. Почти шеговито, краткият роман се впуска в едно щуро приключение, за да разнообрази живота на пощальона Билодо, намерил бързо своето призвание в света на писмената комуникация. Сред тази своеобразна идилия, за зла участ… или пък не, нашият герой си е измислил начин да разнообрази битието си с не толкова легални прийоми, т.е. съвсем „невинно“ и „добронамерено“ наднича в личния живот на непознатите, отваряйки писмата им преди да ги пусне в пощенските кутии. Идеята на Дени Терио не изглежда нова, но пък е добре подплатена с необходимата за случая екстравагантност. Сред страниците има десетки хайку и танка, които „облицоват“ романа в деликатно сатенено покривало. Ако сега ме питате дали си заслужава рискът да ви стане умилително или да се размекнете от прекалено много романтика и любовни изповеди, ще кажа само едно: ако разбирате подобни чувства и нямате против да им се отдавате, не пропускайте книгата. „Странните преживелици на един пощальон“ („Лист“, 2019, с превод на Калоян Праматаров) определено има защо да се чете.
(Продължава в блога: https://knijenpetar.wordpress.com/201...)
Profile Image for Odette Brethouwer.
1,450 reviews237 followers
August 1, 2018
Een peculiar boek, ik kan er geen goed Nederlands woord voor vinden dat deze bijzondere maar vreemde lading van het boek weet over te brengen.

Een bijzonder zachte voorkant, een titel die al een beetje aangrijpt. Als lezer kreeg ik begrip voor het gedrag van Bilodo, hoewel je het uiteraard niet goedkeurt. Het was zo'n situatie waar iemand verzeild in kan raken en waarvan je benieuwd bent hoe hij zich er ooit uit gaat redden.

Dan neemt het boek een voor mij rare wending. De seksualiteit die er in zit, de manier waarop, vind ik ronduit lachwekkend slecht. Iets anders kan ik er niet van maken. Mijn waardering van dit boek kelderde harder dan de beurskoersen tijdens de economische crisis. Hoe krijg je zo iets uit je vingers, hoe krijg je het voor elkaar om dit uit te geven zeg.

Maar dan volgt de ontknoping van het boek. En wat greep me die bij mijn lurven zeg. Wát een plot, een diepe buiging van respect voor hoe dit boek in elkaar zit. Er vielen veel puzzelstukjes op hun plek, en met wat terugbladeren en fragmenten herlezen (doe ik niet vaak) nog meer. Wát een prestatie dit plot. Zo peculiar.
Profile Image for Julie K.
159 reviews11 followers
February 23, 2018
Přišlo mi psaní, ne ledajaké, kdy jeden pošťák tajemství ukrýval, po nocích básně z dopisů předčítal. Tak nádherné byly, ty básně od Ségolene psané, haiku stylem tvořené. Náhle krutá rána pro pošťáka se stala, kdy jeden z adresátu v nehodě zemřel. Pošťák se však smířit s tím nechtěl, a začal o své básně milé bojovat. Proto, aby své básně dostával dál, musel se starým adresátem stát. Pronajal si jeho byt i kimono oblékal, z obdivovatele dopisů se sám autorem stal. Jak to pokračovalo se Ségolene a pošťákem dál? Neřeknu, vezmi knihu do ruky a zjisti jeho konec sám.

Opravdu nádherný příběh, s neočekávaným koncem. Těším se, co přinese jeho pokračování.
Profile Image for Dora Silva.
172 reviews66 followers
June 12, 2021
Em breve a minha opinião em vídeo este é um livro da minha vida.
Profile Image for Ana Lúcia.
224 reviews
April 30, 2015
E quando encontramos um livro que nos parece tão bom, que o começamos a ler de imediato…
E quando esse livro é mesmo bonito nas primeiras páginas e de repente, inesperadamente, sem que nada o fizesse prever; começa a descambar, a descambar…e só no final, recupera um pouco da graça inicial…
“A Vida Peculiar de um Carteiro Solitário” é um livro surreal, onde a poesia nipónica é o fio condutor na correspondência entre dois amantes. Tinha tudo para ser um livro excelente. Para minha grande desilusão é apenas um livro médio.
Profile Image for Lemar.
672 reviews56 followers
June 9, 2018
This short book has a disarming charm. Our protagonist, beguiled by the sensuous joy he gets from beauty of haiku, is driven by this passion. “And so the history of the haiku‘s birth repeated itself: stripped of superfluous words as though they were clothes dropped on the way to the bedroom, the naked essence of the poetry emerged.”
The haiku and tanka themselves steal the show. Much of the credit must be shared between the writer Denis Thériault and the brilliant translator, Liedewy Hawke.

“Swirling like water
against rugged rocks,
time goes around and around”
Profile Image for Solomon Manoj.
35 reviews6 followers
January 9, 2017
There are some heart achingly beautiful stories and this is one. Bilodo slowly grows on you or I should say that I crawled into his skin little by little and you can't help but feel sorry for him. I fell in love with Segolene just by the words she wrote.

The prose is poetic and there are few beautiful haikus and tankas which I enjoyed reading. Thanks to my friends Vishy and Kev for recommending me this :)
March 8, 2017
I like a book that can surprise me, and the book sure did. I love the way the Canadian writer writes with such simple ease and flow. The book is light but the message is not. Cleverly hidden beneath day to day life (and haiku), one could not help but ponder upon the question of life and death, love amd obsession.
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