Don't be put off by the movie. If you've read/liked Iron and Wolf, Lucifer's Hammer, Footfall, etc... you'll like this book. A great story of rebuilding after the complete breakdown of society. At first the main character travels around--having deserted the army when his battalion was ordered to guard food and starving civilians rioted. Soon he settles down in a seemingly safe town, however outside a madman has a large band of followers that is quickly becoming an army, looting and killing their way across the territory.
The main character has united local towns by establishing communications (through the postal service/pony express) and must marshall these forces to battle the madman or lose everything. This book is like a few parts all merged into one... some background on the main character and what happend to him as things fall apart (although this is intersperced throughout the story), then details of how he survives once things DO fall apart... then how he (sometimes unwillingly) takes a leadership role in pulling people and resources togeether and rebuilding.
LOVED IT!!! First book by Brin I've read, and I love the post apocalypse stuff. A little dated, but one can easily get past it. I want to read more of him but would like to avoid the ultra SF stuff. A LOT like THE STAND by S KING. which I also loved. Ignore the negative press from the movie and Read this. Ending a twist!
Given our fragile economy, diminishing status/power in the world, a neglected infrastructure and corrupted political arena, it is not a big stretch to imagine the whole country (for whatever reason) collapsing into chaos and anarchy. This wonderful novel takes place over a decade after the collapse of America as we know it. The main character is a fellow who wanders among surviving communities, performing his own bastardized versions of Shakespeare and other dramatic renderings for food and lodging. He's not a saint, nor a monster...merely someone trying to survive in his own way. After a circumstance in which he snags a dead postman's uniform, he begins weaving a legend of a restored US government. He feels guilty, but clearly enjoys the excellent treatment he receives as the "representative" and Postmaster of this new USA. His myth very soon takes flight, and hope arises in the Oregon communities he visits. What follows is heart-rending. There is a vicious gang who roams the area; destroying, raping, murdering and subsequently turning the conquered communities into harsh serfdoms. Through the hope engendered by the main character, resistance to this dark band of murderers is strengthened. There are victories and heart breaking losses. The main protagonist is wonderfully multi-layered and the world he inhabits is frightfully real. The rest of the characters are nicely fleshed out as well. This is such a beautifully written novel. The reader becomes the silent observer, and, is thus pulled into the soul of the story. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
I liked this book well enough, but I didn't love it. At first I thought I would love it because the idea is really clever and the story was exciting in the beginning. However, I found the middle of the book a little slow at times. By the end, I felt like the author had included too many different elements, that the story would've been better had he just stuck with the initial idea.
If you are looking to read the book because you have seen the movie, then I don't recommend it. It's a good book by itself, but in my humble opinion, the movie is much better. They are really two different stories. The book is nothing like the movie, and vice-versa.
Excellent post nuclear war book concerning one man's lie, being a postman for the retored United States of America 16 years after its demise to gain food and shelter from those survivors who are left. His story brings hope to those survivors who battle renigade survivalists for civilization. Really riveting story! couldnt put it down a definite good vs. evil pot boiler!! You'll love it!!
A novel of our world after its devastation. I believe this is the novel that the movie by the same name is based on. Basically, hope appears in the form of an jacket of a long dead postal worker. The hero of the story wears the jacket and finds it rekindlesthe spirit of America.
The book was much, much better than the movie. David Brin did an excellent job describing what happens in the US after a major disaster and how one man's vision (though he fell into it by accident)can change the course of an entire continent.
This review is by my husband. One of those books that you start and think "this isn't going anywhere" but something happens to keep pulling you in. I have not seen the movie made from the book so can't offer any comparision there. Basic plot is man in post nuclear Western US find dead postman and takes the hat and uniform. At first intended as a prop to get into milita based communities, the uniform and his significance grows as he becomes pivotal in the fight between different groups. I found this particulary interested because it is set in the Oregon Central Willamette Valley where I grew up.
UPDATE: This weekend I saw the movie; skip it. 3 hours long and only resemblence to the book is the basic concept.
If you saw the horrible Kevin Costner film, forget it. This book and that movie share only the name. This book is a moving tale of heroism, sacrifice. The struggle of individuals to hold on to civilization, while it crumbles around them. The meet both success and failure, but the effort is enobling.
This is not near the 'rich' and well developed story or character that must have been sparked by a character in Lucifer's Hammer.
Couldn't get hooked in on the flag waving paraded thruout the book. There were also pretty big flaws with situations and decisions presented by other characters which don't seem based on realistic possibilities. Remaking 'PCs' and developing a on-the-ground postal system when there would exist plenty of 'wire' IN PLACE that could much easier be cobbled into, at the very least,
a telegraph system.
Brin may know esoteric tech stuff, but he lacks roll-up-sleeves DIY practicality.
The story winds down with an 'action scene' - phooey. Just doesn't impress or enlighten me.
He was a survivor-a wanderer who traded tales for food and shelter in the dard and savage aftermath of a devastating war. Fate toucheshim one chill winters day when he borrows the jacket of a long dead postal worker to protect himself fro the cold. The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it he begins to weave his greatest tale, of a nation on the road to recovery. This is the true story of a lie that became the most powerful kind of truth. A timeless novel as urgently compellin as WAR DAY or ALAS,BABYLON.