Monday, May 30, 2011


Mailman by J. Robert Lennon 2003 Weight: 1.9lbs Method of Disposal: Giving Away

Mailman has become something separate from the book I read. It has become a way of showing disapproval of something I have done. It is an insult slung out in unexpected times. It is a struggle and a disturbance. Sometimes, it is a fascination that when described makes others cringe and look at the speaker with disdain.

It took me a month to read this book. I could not get into it for the first 100 pages and so my mind wandered, and I read other books. Perused my stack of New Yorkers. I would look at the book and fall asleep out of fear that I would force myself to read it. Then, after all those pages, something happened, and I became invested. I started wish my day would end more quickly so I could crawl into bed with Mailman. Towards the end, it dropped off again, but it never got back to its first time low. I tried to discuss it with a friend and couldn’t tell if I had, indeed, found things to respect in the book. Was a feeling more than annoyance? I believe so. I felt conflicted. There are some great one-liners in this book. There were moments (very few) where I could relate to one of the characters, and I would be shocked. Every woman character in this was lacking something, and it was never clear why they all either fell in love with or slept with Mailman. He is a totally unlikeable and unsympathetic character. He is lacking so much. It is not the incest, the ibs, the total disregard of social cues. Those things are o.k. , but wasn’t there anything else to him? Was that the point? Probably.

It is not the fault of the author that I wanted there to be so much more dealing with being a mailman and the postal service. One of my many fascinations. Luckily, I have a string of fiction books about “snail mail” so there is hope yet. I write and send letters every week and am fascinated by other people’s letters. Not that it was trying to in any way, but Mailman had nothing on Mona Simpson’s LAWNS, which incorporates the mail system, theft, incest, and disturbing storylines also.

I don’t think I recommend Mailman, but many people do, and I am just not sure. It is sticking with me, which probably means something. If you would like to have a free copy let me know.

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