The Postmortal – Drew Magary
Posted by thecompleatbookseller
Recently I finished a great book, The Postmortal by Drew Magary. In this story the wish of never having to grow old and die is granted when a scientist trying to find the genetic code of redheads so that they can have different colored hair, accidentally discovered the death-gene, which is the gene that causes aging. Part of this accident is that he also discovers how to turn off the gene with the help of a bioengineered virus. What happens next is what could happen if people did not have to worry about growing old and dying.
Divorce rates sky rocket with the idea that until death parts us suddenly suddenly seems like too much to ask; teenagers stop thinking about going to college and starting a career with the idea that they have forever and a day to think about it; and people travel to Las Vegas, which of course has created a whole marketing scheme in creating the fountain of youth weekend getaway complete with a holy grail cup from which to drink alcohol.
But the reality is that people aren’t built to live forever. Bad memories pile up; boredom settles in as people grow tired of going out with their forever-twenty-some friends every weekend for 40 years; then some people wish for a death that will not find them. As you can imagine there are other problems that come with a world whose population never dies and continues to grow to 20 billion people. Yes, the heros never die, but the villains live forever.
Towards the end of the book I had a sudden reminder of George Orwell’s 1984. Like 1984 and other dystopian novels this book demonstrates how a world built to give everything to everyone ultimately betters the lives of a few while destroying the lives of many.
It is a highly entertaining book and written in a way that works in the generation of the blog looking to the new future with smart phones and battery operated cars. What is also fun is that this is the first dystopian novel that I am away of that takes place in and around Maryland. If this ever comes true I am staying away from Bowie.
Tells us what your favorite dystopian books are. Any of these top 12?