Book Review: Mailman by J. Robert Lennon

Haven’t had one of these in a while, eh? So we’re back with the book review of Mailman by J. Robert Lennon.  This one is a recommendation from Eric at IPC.  You should definitely check out his site.  I put the link there. A big thanks to Eric for recommending this to me!

mailmanGoodreads review:

Mailman is a weird and bizarre concept of following the life is a USPS mailman who is located in Nestor, NY. He is nervous and worries about everything around him. He is divorce and there is a part of him that seems indecisive and maybe even a bit bitter about his life. We follow as he looks at his downfalls in life and all the failures that he goes through. He seems to go into denial about situations easily and he has slight anger issues. As we move back and forth from his past to his present, it seems like his life is simply going out of control.   This is a book full of details and descriptions of feelings, emotions, the surroundings, the people around Mailman. Sometimes, when it first started, it felt lengthy in parts and it felt like there was no point to any of it. As I read on, you feel more attached to the character of Mailman and even though he seems pathetic in many cases, or just that something is wrong with him, as he moves forward, I couldn’t stop but to feel a bit sad for his character. 

Its a heavy book and it did make me think a lot afterwards about all that I’ve read. However, it is a very unique idea, even though it is odd in many situations, it accomplishes in captivating the readers to want to know what happens to Mailman as his story progresses.

I always take it as a good sign when the book (or the movie or whatever in question) is sold out from your local bookstore.  I don’t live in a small city, so it shouldn’t technically happen.  But it did.  My bookstore didn’t have it, nor did the neighboring ones.  So I finally went to Amazon and they  had ONE copy left.  You know, after all that work, I’d expect this book to be extremely awesome..I mean, pure awesomeness. Now the question is, was it?

The story of Mailman is briefly explained up in my Goodreads review. Mailman is about a mailman (which is frequently referred to as in the novel) located in the Nestor, NY area.  He is divorced, has a bit of anger issues (or maybe emotional imbalance?) and has a very weird habit of illegally reading other people’s mail. He often (over)analyzes the situation and the people around him. He’s indecisive and nervous.  As we follow the present day him, he’s going through a phase of looking at his past and all the failures he’s gone through.  When his supervisor and a citizen starts suspecting him of reading mail and he starts developing a weird lump under his arm, his life slowly spirals out of control.

The character of Mailman, his real name Albert Lippincott, although most of the book, he is referred to as Mailman instead.  We never really know why until the very end.  The importance of the relationship of mail and mailman is relevant to our life.  The character is odd and awkward, and sometimes even in the beginning, I found him annoying and almost put down the book.  Once you tough out those parts, you realize that even this character has the elements that make you feel that you want to know what happens because he seems to always do the unexpected.  As the story starts building up in intensity, it made me feel exponentially more attached to the character.

To focus mostly on the life of one character and just rarely bringing in other people in his life for recollections, I have to give a lot of respect to the author because he did do a pretty amazing job.  Its like doing a movie where its focused just on one character, like The Phonebooth (or something along those lines).  Its a challenging task and I personally think the author succeeded.  I’m sure that this merits another read just to get an even clearer message and because of all the detail, sometimes, I have the habit of skimming through it.  It may be an odd story but something about it also makes it very unforgettable.

Another HUGE thanks to Eric for recommending this! And right now, I am recommending it to all of you. Its a different experience but also a very good one!

If you have any book recommendations, feel free to mention it to me by email or even just in the comments. I’m always looking for new books to read 🙂

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Mailman by J. Robert Lennon

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