The Postmortal by Drew Magary

Okay, first I have to say another BIG THANK YOU to Anastasia at the Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog, because I won this book in one of her giveaways a while back. I know this book hasn’t gotten a lot of great reviews, at least from what I’ve seen on the blogosphere, but I really enjoyed this – it may be one of my favorite reads of the whole year.

So John Farrell is a 29-year old lawyer when “the Cure” is developed. Because it’s not yet legal, he goes to see a doctor in secret and pays handsomely to receive the Cure – the cure to aging, that is. A cure to essentially freeze a person at his or her current age has been found, and therefore people could theoretically live for hundreds to thousands of years- as long as disease, violence, accidents, or natural disasters kill them. And from this point on we follow John through his life as a “postmortal” – as a person permanently 29, watching the effects of the Cure unfold before his eyes.

The book isn’t in standard novel format – it’s actually a “discovered” record of John’s blog posts and feeds, found some-odd years after the events of John’s life. Sometimes this can be off-putting in novels, but I still felt pretty connected to John’s character, and the blog-posty format actually makes it easier for John to give information about the events of  the world in a simple and direct way without getting annoying. John is a likable guy, for the most part. And even in the moments when he’s not quite likable, you still sympathize with him.

I thought this book was fascinating – starting off, we see the various debates taking place for and against the Cure and of course it’s fun to think about – Would you get the Cure? Why or why not? And so on and so forth. But as the story goes on significant cultural changes occur that I thought it was incredibly interesting to watch unfold – the idea of marriage changes, religions change, society’s entire moral compass starts to change. And while the book and John himself go through numerous stages and changes, I didn’t want to the put the book down. I really wanted to see what happened next, what the world that the author created was going to turn into. I definitely had a lot of gasp-out-loud moments, and there are post-its all over the book because of all the notes and thoughts I was jotting down. I was so engrossed in this book that whenever I wasn’t reading it, I couldn’t stop talking to my boyfriend and friends about it. (And now the honeyman admits that based on what he’s heard from me, he’s actually really curious wants to read it.)

There are a couple minor points in the novel that irked me – for instance, the Cure is discovered and mass produced, yet we never solve the problem of fossil fuels. I mean seriously? We can cure aging, but we still can’t create an alternative, synethetic fuel source? Come on. But again, these were minor points that I just think would have gone differently had this actually occured.

The scary thing is that there are absolutely scientists out there hoping to find the cure for aging, a way to live forever. In the book they give a bit of background but otherwise gloss over the exact science of how they Cure was discovered, and that’s fine with me. I’m sure the way it happens isn’t really plausible, but they made it vague enough that really who knows. However if you truly are more interested in how scientists are trying to unlock the key to immortality, I recommend the book Long for This World by Jonathan Weiner which is a bit scatterbrained but also informative.

So, I highly recommend The Postmortal. It’s a wonderfully imaginative, in-depth novel. I’m not sure I would really call it a dystopia or post-apocalyptic I suppose, because you see events occuring and yeah… I don’t know. But it is a really fabulous adult novel about how a Cure, a way to be immortal, would not be the blessing that everyone would think.

Sarah Says: 5 stars



  1. This sounds like a very cool book. I have to admit, I’m a little skeptical of the format cos that can go awry but I’m happy to hear you said it works for the story. I think I’ll need to add this to the tbr pile!


  2. ARGH! I’ve never seen this on a blog before, so I’m pleased to finally come across it. I’ve wanted to read it ever since I first heard about it so I’m glad you liked it. Just need to get my hands on a copy now 🙂


  3. I finally got to read The Postmortal and I loved it. I love the questions it raised. On the surface, living forever sounds great, right? Now if they doo invent The Cure, I know to stock up on supplies and wait it out (If I last that long 🙂 )


    1. YAY I’m so glad you liked it!! It was SUCH a great book, and does raise all sorts of good questions. When I was reading it, I could not stop talking about it to friends and all of the different issues surrounding “The Cure”.

      Honestly, I think I’d probably be one of those euthanizing people… cause I’m all about letting people die when they want to. Sometimes I think I’d fit in a bit too well in such a chaotic, crappy, post-apocalyptic-like world…


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