by Drew Magary
Penguin Group, $15.00, 369 pages
Drew Margary’s The Postmortal tells the story of a near-future in which the cure for aging is discovered. Margary presents the story from the discovery of the cure through to the ultimate consequences of a large, unaging, world population, through the eyes of an Everyman character, named John. John’s early experiences will be familiar to many readers, if not from life, at least from TV and the movies. He is a white, successful, upper-middle class lawyer living in New York City with his best friend/roommate. However, the hints of the dystopian future crop up within the first twenty pages of the novel, and Margary does not hesitate to graphically spell out the consequences of a future in which no one dies except through accident, violence, or disease.
Margary is a sports blogger and his familiarity with modern forms of writing and contemporary hot-button subjects are obvious throughout the book. The chapters are short and quick, designed to read as entries from John’s blog. These chapters are also broken up with “news articles” and “link roundups” that will be familiar to anyone who reads online. Despite the shallowness of the form, several thinly disguised references to contemporary problems and figures, and some amount of gratuitous violence, the novel ends up being a thought-provoking look at what happens when we pursue our baser instincts with no regard for the consequences.
Reviewed by Katie Richards