The Postmortal

Penguin. c.384p. Sept. 2011. ISBN 9780143119821. pap. $15. F
In the year 2019, the cure for aging is discovered, and this clears the way for "postmortalism"—humans who will not grow old, although they can still contract disease, get hit by a bus, or die from other, less-than-natural causes. Soon it becomes clear that eternal youth has its own problems, including pro-death terrorists, shrinking resources, and the disintegration of the core elements that make up the fabric of society. Marriage? Only in 40-year increments. Children? Superfluous, since there's no need to perpetuate the species. Religion? Passé, except for the newly minted, cultlike Church of Man. And, eventually, government-sanctioned euthanasia known as "end specialization."
VERDICT Magary's (Men with Balls: The Professional Athlete's Handbook) wit as a blogger and satirist is put to good use in this clever novel, which is told through a series of darkly funny blog entries and news reports. His engaging voice makes for a fast-paced and compelling read right up to the last third of the book, when the story morphs into the predictable apocalypse. Still, it's a great ride up to that point—a must-read for fans of postmodern dystopia in the vein of Margaret Atwood, Chuck Palahniuk, and Neil Gaiman.
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