The Postmortal

The Postmortal

4.1 56
by Drew Magary
     
 

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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

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Overview

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, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors. Witty, eerie, and full of humanity, The Postmortal is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a pre-apocalyptic world so real that it is completely terrifying.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The "postmortals" of the title of this debut novel, set in the near future, have voluntarily undertaken "the cure," a form of gene therapy that bestows eternal youth although not immortality: recipients can still die of disease or be killed. But as narrator John Farrell explains, taking the cure is a way of sitting "in immortality's waiting room." An odd mixture of satire and dystopian fantasy, this thoughtful novel cleverly explores the consequences of having a long-term lease on life, from the mundane (a woman realizes "I'm always gonna get my period") to the profound (the world's resources exhausted by an ever-growing population) through a series of short, date-stamped blog posts found in 2090 and considered "one of the definitive personal records of life in the former United States" during the 60 years after the cure was discovered. The premise is fascinating, and Magary, a comic sports blogger and satirist (Men with Balls), has an eye for the odd, surprising detail that makes science fiction credible. The plot, though, is little more than an extended exploration of the ramifications of the cure, none of them pleasant. While there's a certain pleasure in watching this brave new world unfold on the page, the narrator's passivity becomes tiresome, and the dry, ironic tone is at odds with the dark vision of a future gone amok. (Aug. 30)
The Austin Chronicle
Unnerving. . . . An absorbing picture of dawning apocalypse. . . . A disturbing portrait of a society convinced it's close to utopia when a cure for aging is invented. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't take long for that seeming utopia to dissolve into a planet-overstressed from overpopulation, food and fuel shortages, and general lawlessness-going into systemic failure. . . . The Postmortal is a suitably chilling entry into the 'it's-the-end-of-the-world' canon.
The New York Press
Magary's vision of future technology and science is eerily realistic. . . . By the time you finish, you'll want to hold your loved ones close and stockpile bottles of water. If all else fails, you could potentially make a living selling them a few decades from now.
Booklist
An exciting page turner. . . . Drew Magary is an excellent writer. This is his first novel but he tells the story masterfully. . . . The most frightening thing about The Postmortal is that this could really happen-it's not a supernatural story, but it's even more terrifying than zombie apocalypse.
The Nervous Breakdown
The Postmortal is a punchy, fast-paced and endearing story. . . . As the novel progresses, it turns from a snappy morality tale, to a noir- ish revenge fable, to an action movie; complete with guns, rogue religious cults and government-sanctioned hit men. The narrative comes to us through John's blog entries and collections of news bytes and pundit commentary. Through his sixty years as a 29-year-old, he experiences all the love, pain, grief, and terror of a standard lifetime and is still in good enough shape to kick some ass at the end. Like much good dystopian fiction, The Postmortal is an at-times unflattering commentary on human beings, present, past and future, that hits the mark in many ways. . . . For anyone intrigued with Life Extension science, it's a fun examination of our fears and expectations.
-The Austin Chronicle
"Unnerving. . . . An absorbing picture of dawning apocalypse. . . . A disturbing portrait of a society convinced it's close to utopia when a cure for aging is invented. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't take long for that seeming utopia to dissolve into a planet-overstressed from overpopulation, food and fuel shortages, and general lawlessness-going into systemic failure. . . . The Postmortal is a suitably chilling entry into the 'it's-the-end-of-the-world' canon."
-The New York Press
"Magary's vision of future technology and science is eerily realistic. . . . By the time you finish, you'll want to hold your loved ones close and stockpile bottles of water. If all else fails, you could potentially make a living selling them a few decades from now."
-Mark Frauenfelder
"An exciting page turner. . . . Drew Magary is an excellent writer. This is his first novel but he tells the story masterfully. . . . The most frightening thing about The Postmortal is that this could really happen-it's not a supernatural story, but it's even more terrifying than zombie apocalypse."
-Ron Hogan
"The first novel from a popular sports blogger and humorist puts a darkly comic spin on a science fiction premise and hits the sweet spot between Margaret Atwood and Kurt Vonnegut. . . . [Magary] understands that satire is most effective when it gives the real world a gently absurd nudge, then lets its characters react much as we ourselves might under the same circumstances."
-Michelle West
"Immortality has figured in a number of sf novels prior to this one, but never, to my experience, in this way. . . . A very clear-eyed picture, one I don't think has been drawn before. . . . The Postmortal surprised me in a good way."
-The Nervous Breakdown
"The Postmortal is a punchy, fast-paced and endearing story. . . . As the novel progresses, it turns from a snappy morality tale, to a noir- ish revenge fable, to an action movie; complete with guns, rogue religious cults and government-sanctioned hit men. The narrative comes to us through John's blog entries and collections of news bytes and pundit commentary. Through his sixty years as a 29-year-old, he experiences all the love, pain, grief, and terror of a standard lifetime and is still in good enough shape to kick some ass at the end. Like much good dystopian fiction, The Postmortal is an at-times unflattering commentary on human beings, present, past and future, that hits the mark in many ways. . . . For anyone intrigued with Life Extension science, it's a fun examination of our fears and expectations."
-Neal Pollack
"A darkly comic, totally gonzo, and effectively frightening population- bomb dystopia in the spirit of Logan's Run, Soylent Green, and the best episodes of The Twilight Zone."
-Evan Wright
"As insanely entertaining as it is ambitious, The Postmortal takes us into an America set in the next few years and coming apart under the onslaught of a dreadful new plague—that of human immortality. Magary possesses an explosive imagination and let loose in The Postmartal, he creates an alternate history of the near future that feels real and is probably inevitable. Read The Postmortal if you want to find out what happened to the human race in our last violent and absurd few years in New York."
-L. Jon Wertheim
“As insanely entertaining as it is ambitious, The Postmortal takes us into an America set in the next few years and coming apart under the onslaught of a dreadful new plague—that of human immortality. Magary possesses an explosive imagination and let loose in The Postmartal, he creates an alternate history of the near future that feels real and is probably inevitable. Read The Postmortal if you want to find out what happened to the human race in our last violent and absurd few years in New York.”
-Justin Halpern
"As someone who is totally freaked out by the thought of dying, The Postmortal really stood on top of me and peed on my face. It's depiction of the future isn't filled with crappy robots fighting Will Smith. It's filled with eerily realistic portrayals of what the future could look like and does it all in an incredibly entertaining story."
Library Journal
In the year 2019, the cure for aging is discovered, and this clears the way for "postmortalism"—humans who will not grow old, although they can still contract disease, get hit by a bus, or die from other, less-than-natural causes. Soon it becomes clear that eternal youth has its own problems, including pro-death terrorists, shrinking resources, and the disintegration of the core elements that make up the fabric of society. Marriage? Only in 40-year increments. Children? Superfluous, since there's no need to perpetuate the species. Religion? Passé, except for the newly minted, cultlike Church of Man. And, eventually, government-sanctioned euthanasia known as "end specialization." VERDICT Magary's (Men with Balls: The Professional Athlete's Handbook) wit as a blogger and satirist is put to good use in this clever novel, which is told through a series of darkly funny blog entries and news reports. His engaging voice makes for a fast-paced and compelling read right up to the last third of the book, when the story morphs into the predictable apocalypse. Still, it's a great ride up to that point—a must-read for fans of postmodern dystopia in the vein of Margaret Atwood, Chuck Palahniuk, and Neil Gaiman.—Jeanne Bogino, New Lebanon Lib., NY
From the Publisher
"A must-read for fans of postmodern dystopia in the vein of Margaret Atwood, Chuck Palahniuk, and Neil Gaiman" —Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143119821
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/30/2011
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
279,330
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Drew Magary is a correspondent for GQ and a columnist for Deadspin and Gawker. He’s also the author of the critically acclaimed novels Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenthood, and Men with Balls: The Professional Athlete’s Handbook. He lives in Maryland with his wife and three kids.

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