The Postmortal by Drew Magary

The Postmortal, in paperback, with Bagheera (an avid reader cat)
The Postmortal, in paperback, with Bagheera (an avid reader cat)

With a great premise and a recommendation from a trusted friend, I had high hopes for this book. In the near-future a ‘cure for aging’ is found and the world faces never-before-considered problems associated with rapid population growth. Kind of like the Torchwood series Miracle Day, except people still die. Murders and cancer still happen, but people just don’t get old. Liver problems hurt more than anything as every American goes into a giant binge of alcohol.

This review has more spoilers than others of mine. Fair warning.

I don’t mind that dreary subject of a plot – but the characters were amazingly dull. Maybe the author was going for something in picking the most worthless pile-of-crap everyman as its main character and narrator, but I got really sick of putting up with him and his poor choices. The last 30 pages try to add a feeling of redemption to an extra-long lifetime of failure, but after the first 300 pages I was ready for him to go along with pretty much everyone else.

The only interesting character was Matt, the insane owner of the ‘End Specialist’ business who helps people who’ve had the cure die. And he’s still an awful person, just an entertaining one. There’s no dynamic figure in this book other than John and Solara’s last 30 pages ( a cop out, in my opinion) and John’s dad who we all could’ve told you never should’ve gotten the cure in the first place.

The science was also dubious at best. Last year I read the book Next by Michael Crichton, which handled the science of gene mutation far better. That book was farce-like in its plot and it felt way more genuine about what could happen. The Postmortal comes off like a giant exaggeration.

And maybe that’s the point. Drew could’ve picked the dull everyman instead of the President just to show how worthless any one of us would be if the world really did change so quickly. Maybe we’re supposed to think of how dreadful an ageless life would be as we watch all those we love die in the cruelest, most awful ways since the calm aging is no longer available.

But if that’s the point, I really wish I would’ve known that before so I could put the book down at page 42 instead of 342. The writing didn’t draw me in and I really only finished it because it was simple and my next library book wasn’t ready to be picked up yet. Interesting idea for a book though – maybe someone can rewrite it?

The Postmortal by Drew Magary

Amazon ; Goodreads ; Wikipedia

By Alex

Web Developer and Fitness Coach in Louisville, KY

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