Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

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Monthly Reading: Discussion > June 2018 "The Postman" Discussion <No Spoilers>

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message 1: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Group Reads #7


message 2: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Well, I'm starting with this one. Mostly because the last audiobook created for this book was in 1985 and I could only find it on youtube. So the quality is pretty bad and the production is exactly what you would expect from the 80s. Luckily, I learned a long time ago to separate the story, the narrator, and the production. As long as the story is good, I don't really care how it was made or who read it.

I'm only about 10% into it, but I can tell you that it is making more sense than the movie did. The timeline is interesting as well.

Anyway, I hope to hear from everyone else too!


message 3: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
I've started reading this one as well, still taking my time with the Dispossessed. The story is indeed progressing somewhat more naturally than the movie,

I also enjoy the extra info on the main character, the depth you don't get to see in the movie.


message 4: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
I've read it recently and I liked it. Now there are a lot of post-apocalyptic SF, but when it was written there were much less. I'll post a link to my review in spoilers. It is not very 'spoilerish' but nevertheless


message 5: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Jun 03, 2018 07:00PM) (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
I'm thoroughly enjoying the novel so far, it is one of those books that has a few layers to it and none of them are overly complicated. Without any difficulty I can imagine a teenager reading it and enjoying main character's adventure across the post-apocalyptic U.S., without delving into any of the details.

A very easy, enjoyable read.


message 6: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Art Wrote: "...a very easy, enjoyable read."

I agree, brother. There is something about this book that I can't put my finger on that makes it enjoyable. It is way better than the movie. Maybe that's it, I keep comparing it to the movie. The book is plausible, from a 1980's point of view.

I don't even remember who nominated this one, but thank you for doing so!


message 7: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Jun 05, 2018 03:24AM) (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
I suppose this book has a few things going for it. A major one I noticed is the lack of pretentiousness, the story carries a message (no pun intended) and in many ways it is a strong one, but the story evolves naturally and without much drama.

Also I believe that it is also a very basic tale of a person struggling to become a better man (written in the days when being one wasn't considered one of the mortal sins) and to make the world around a better place even at the cost of bending a rule or two.

There's another word to be said regarding how vividly the environment is described, just a few sentences and you are enthralled by the apocalyptic setting. I've had a fortune of seeing a documentary about the recent developments in towns located in vicinity of the Fukushima nuclear reactor, they were telling how the majority of the areas are being unasealed and how the residents are being allowed back to their homes after years of them being off-limits. What surprised me the most is how quickly the nature exploited that opening. Besides the plants and weeds basically engulfing houses and empty streets along with all the supermarkets and abandoned cars. The animals as well started nesting within abandoned houses and due to the constant presence of scientists who never seemed to bother them, they've actually started considering humans as guests and themselves as legal residents of the town. In less than a decade nature has reclaimed the whole town.

Some of the scenes in the book may appear naive and I haven't exactly finished reading it yet, still I hope everyone is enjoying the novel's enchanting simplicity and inherent "goodness" that pages seem to emit.


message 8: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
Art wrote: "What surprised me the most is how quickly the nature exploited that opening. "

Yes, this is amazing. Even a more recent case - Chernobyl, which blew in 1986 is re-conquered by nature, just ask Google for photos to see. Animals multiply, plants grow..


message 9: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Oleksandr wrote: "Art wrote: "What surprised me the most is how quickly the nature exploited that opening. "

Yes, this is amazing. Even a more recent case - Chernobyl, which blew in 1986 is re-conquered by nature, ..."


Sorry, I meant the nuclear reactor that got damaged during 2011 earthquake and the tsunami that followed. It took little more than 5 years for nature to take over the area around Fukushima.


message 10: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3992 comments Mod
Art wrote: "Oleksandr wrote: "Sorry, I meant the nuclear reactor that got damaged during 2011 earthquake and the tsunami that followed. It took little more than 5 years for nature to take over the area around Fukushima."

Ah, okay. I thought about 1945 :)


message 11: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
I'm about 75% of the way through the book. I'm still enjoying it. It is a bit funny to me how postal workers have become legends. Only because my mother worked in the post office since I was very young. It is anything but glamorous.

But it makes sense as well, communication is the backbone of any country. Before the days of cell phones and internet, the post office was that line to everyone...the line that shows you are not alone.

I also like that Gordon is a reluctant hero.


message 12: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Finished the book last night. It is very different from the movie, much better than the movie. I'm going to hold off on what I think until I have some others finished with it that we can talk it out in the spoiler thread.


message 13: by LuthienDillon (new)

LuthienDillon | 24 comments Started listening to the audiobook, but I think I 'll get a print copy, too.

First thoughts :
I like penpalling, so I can see why a postman is seen as a hero, and and especially in the pre-Internet age. Even today, official mail (courts, unemployment office, pension office, etc ) comes in paper form, so I'd still see a postman as a symbol of a functioning state, even if they have become less important for personal communication.
In the 80s, people still played chess via postcards and regularly wrote letters to relatives (There were landline phones, of course, but making a call, especially abroad, was much more expensive than it is today.)
So, in short, I totally see where the hero status comes from. ;-)
However, I 'm still reserving my judgement on whether I actually like the character until after I have listened to /read the whole story.


message 14: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Honestly around 60% into the book the story veered off in a direction I did not expect it to go, so it is a thrill to follow the story without knowing where it is going. I barely managed to put it down this morning before going out. Have just a few pages left to go, something I am looking forward to finishing tonight.


message 15: by LuthienDillon (new)

LuthienDillon | 24 comments My print copy finally arrived yesterday and it works much better for me than the audiobook I tried earlier. So I hope to be back with some more thoughts on the book soon.


message 16: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
LuthienDillon wrote: "My print copy finally arrived yesterday and it works much better for me than the audiobook I tried earlier. So I hope to be back with some more thoughts on the book soon."

Yea, the audiobook was pretty rough to get through. The book was good though. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of it.


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