Book Reviews

Book Review: The Postmortal


The Postmortal is Drew Magary’s dystopian exploration of what discovering the cure for aging could do to human culture. The novel is filled with dark humor and less-than-optimistic predictions as to what the cure might cause. Magary does a great job hooking the reader and keeping the story rolling. On top of that, his characters felt real to me, and I cared about them as they went through the story. The only complaint I have about the book is the ending, and in all honesty it was far from the worst ending I’ve read. I wouldn’t call this book a must read, but I would readily suggest it to almost anyone.

The Good:

  1. The main characters remain interesting and compelling throughout the entire novel. On top of this, all of his characters felt human to me. They had hopes, they made mistakes, and they were all uniquely damaged and developed characters.
  2. The Postmortal does a very good job staying true to what I feel would best be described simply as humanity. Magary explores many facets of human nature and what becoming ageless just may do to us, and his predictions always seem to ring eerily true.
  3. The book always felt very light and paced well. Despite the depressing nature of the story, Magary managed to keep his writing from ever becoming too dense.

The Bad:

  1. The ending of the book felt pretty cheesy to me, as if Magary wanted to squeeze in one last gasp of romance to highlight John’s remaining humanity.

The Meh:

Move along, nothing to see here.


The cure for aging has been found, humanity has taken its first step into the age of eternal youth, and John Farrel is one of the first to set foot through the door. With a cure age of twenty nine, John will always appear to be just a year shy of thirty. At first he is invigorated by his cure, finding himself feeling as if he were brimming with more life than ever before. But shortly after he begins his potentially infinite new life,  he, and many others,  begin to discover that eternal youth might come with an even more complex set of problems than naturally aging. No one can retire, social and economic norms begin to shift drastically, population rates skyrocket, food and water supplies begin to dwindle. And just because old age can’t kill you, doesn’t mean everything else can’t.


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