Friday, March 2, 2012

Book Review: "The Postmortal" by Drew Magary

The Scoop: (Goodreads)

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.

My Take:

So, the story is, John lives in a world (in the not-so-distant future) where with just a few shots, one can defy the aging process for-ev-er! You could still die from accidents or even disease, but not from growing old. Sounds great, right? The world has always actively tried to stop aging, no more so than right now.



Well, think again, my friend. With fewer people dying, the world's population (already at a tipping point) becomes a burden on our dwindling resources. Also, the moral and logistical implications of living forever (as long as you are accident and disease free) start to set in. In The Postmortal, anti-cure sects pop up (religious and secular) and it's obvious that not everyone thinks stopping the natural aging process is the best plan ever.

Time to colonize Mars, peeps. We're 86 grub here.

I think I love futuristic/dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels because I am intrigued by other people's predictions of how our lives might play out in the future under certain circumstances. In The Postmortal, we are given that vision in spades. One of my favorite aspects of this novel was the theoretical consequences of never aging. Such as: Do you really want to be married forever now that it really means eternity with the same person? No retirement plan? No problem, buddy, because you will be working for the next 400 years or so just to sustain your young lifestyle. Think you're bored now, just imagine hundreds of years spread out before you while you live your little life forever and ever and ever...

Yep, you're gonna be filling out those TPS reports for the next, I don't know, 750 years.

The Postmortal is not all gloom and doom (at times it's snarky and hilarious), but it does cleverly present concrete arguments against the quest for eternal life. The plot is well-conceived and the pace is frenzied. I found myself caring about John and wanting to know where this world was going to take him. At the end of the book, I still wanted more! The Postmortal also has has the elements of romance, mystery and thriller that kept me glued to the pages. Great book that I would recommend to anyone curious about the consequences if we all were to stay forever young.


  1. I'm really glad you liked this! I loved it, I thought it was fascinating. One of my favorite reads last year.

  2. I actually picked it up because I remembered you talking about it. I was going to link to the post where you mentioned it and I couldn't find it.

    I loved the idea (and execution) of it. Definitely on my to buy and to re-read list! It's a keeper.



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