Drew Magary‘s The Postmortal (a nominee for the 2011 Philip K. Dick Award) brings us to a future where the cure for aging has been developed. And the future isn’t that far away; by the year 2019 the world is torn between people seeking the cure and people opposing the cure in the most violent of ways.
Would you take the cure? A chance to look the same for hundreds, maybe thousands of years? To never age one minute? The flip side you can still be ravaged by disease, get hit by a car, or party yourself into the ground. The answer for the majority is yes, without hesitation. As soon as the President of the United States lifts the ban on the cure, the flood gates open, but so does the backlash.
The Postmortal follows the web diary of John Farrell, a 29 year-old estate lawyer who gets the cure before it is legal and ends up landing himself into much of the controversy, unintentionally of course. In the beginning Farrell is oblivious to the bad side of the cure, but after witnessing and experiencing brutality, the demise of social norms, and even death, his eyes are slowly opened.
The span of the book is only 60 years, so it seems a little odd to actually follow Farrell through a regular lifespan, just without aging. However, the effect of the cure on society in the 60 year span is quite amazing. One of the first things to surprise me was that there was absolutely no control over the population, there are no limitations set for having children. So within 60 years the population has amassed greatly and depleted most of the world’s resources.
Ultimately, The Postmortal concludes the only way it could, and leaves the listener wondering, would I get the cure? As expensive and painful as it seems, I am pretty sure that I would, although like everyone else in the end, it would be a very regrettable decision.
The audiobook of The Postmortal available from Tantor Audio and narrated by Johnny Heller. Heller’s narration is amazing, not once was I caught off guard or confused by a voice, male or female. The flow of the storyline moved me along and I was actually counting down the minutes until I could get back in my car to hear what happened next.
Cassandra McNeil is continually aging.