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Mailman: A Novel (2003)

di J. Robert Lennon

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
274274,633 (3.58)7
"A phantasmagoria of American paranoia and self-loathing in the person of a deranged but somehow good-hearted middle-aged mail carrier in steep decline, the book hums with a kind of chipper angst," writes Jonathan Lethem in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Mailman tells the blackly comic story of Albert Lippincott. Albert is Nestor, New York's mailman extraordinaire--aggressively cheerful, obsessively efficient. But he also has a few things to hide: his habit of reading other people's mail, a nervous breakdown, and a sexually ambiguous entanglement with his sister. Now his supervisors are on to his letter-hoarding compulsion, and there's a throbbing pain under his right arm. Things are closing in on Albert, who will soon be forced to confront, once and for all, his life's failures. Funny and moving, driven by a wild, compulsive interior voice, Mailman is a unique creation, a deeply original American novel. Already optioned to the movies, this astonishing and kinetically charged tale was one of the most exuberantly praised novels of 2003.… (altro)
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I loved this book. I loved the writing style, the mix of hilarious moments and meaningful ones - but never getting sentimental. Mailman is pathetic, but he grew on me. These are some of my favourite quotes:(p. 344)"Instead he is busy enduring a wave of remorse and loneliness - he won't be around for the next local controversy. Or the next Friday radio scramble, either. Ah, hell. But then again, you can't drive through life looking at the rearview mirror, can you, otherwise you'll smack into a phone pole, or worse yet a pedestrian, or a pedestrian with a stroller, and you'll be a child murderer, all for the fleeting comfort of dwelling upon the past." (p. 373)"There was a small part of him that really did want to break up -- or rather, a constellation of small parts: patches of skin where she no longer touched him, the muscles that ached mornings after they stayed up late fighting, the part of his tongue where he could taste the hospital when he kissed her after work, an outpost in the subconscious where the hope of new love lurked." (p. 471)"I ask you to consider this, Albert: what is success, actually? What is a successful life? You are one person among many - a bacterium, say, in a petri dish.""Great.""Let's say that success, so to speak, is fame and admiration: in other words, one bacterium held in high regard by the rest of the bacteria. They are still just sitting in the dish on a laboratory counter, being bacteria. And so success, in these terms, is not very meaningful. A successful life, I think, should be self-defined, defined by happiness. Or, rather, satisfaction. Your life is successful if each day is fully lived. But that begs the question -""It begs a lot of questions.""Yes, well, the one I'm thinking of is: What is it, then, to live fully? How fully can you live? Can you, say, climb a mountain and write a string quartet, and cure a disease, and have hot sex, all in one day? What can be expected of a single person anyway? You did what you were capable of doing, and then some. You lived as fully as it was possible for you to live. You loved badly, but you loved intensely. You left no emotional stone unturned." (p. 479)"I never meant to be a burden to anyone.""No, nobody ever does." (p. 483)"Ah, good old Nestor," Sprain says. "I'll miss it.""Me too," says Mailman, and it's true: but he misses Nestor the way he misses a thing that was never supposed to last, like a good meal, or a movie. Like his life, behind him now, as lovely with distance as a battlefield." ( )
  AlexanderDS | Sep 2, 2012 |
“Mailman,” as the main character of this introspective novel refers to himself, is indeed a mailman in a small New York town who enlivens his otherwise empty life by reading other people’s mail. Mailman has had a lot of problems with past relationships, the Peace Corps, a weird sexual tension with his sister, and a psychotic episode in which he attacked his college professor, all of which we readers learn about in fits and starts as the narrative meanders between present day and flashback. Perhaps Mailman was a bit too moody and strange for my tastes, but the character’s story kept drawing me in to its ultimately bleak ending. ( )
  sturlington | Feb 24, 2012 |
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He goes off whistling, loving the weather. Photons beat on his broad chest, neutrinos penetrate black leather and swamp his toenails. There is a secret to life, but he hasn't delivered it yet. - John Updike, "The Mailman"
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To all my dear mailmen, I thank you
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So God, the story goes, made the earth.
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(Click per vedere. Attenzione: può contenere anticipazioni.)
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"A phantasmagoria of American paranoia and self-loathing in the person of a deranged but somehow good-hearted middle-aged mail carrier in steep decline, the book hums with a kind of chipper angst," writes Jonathan Lethem in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Mailman tells the blackly comic story of Albert Lippincott. Albert is Nestor, New York's mailman extraordinaire--aggressively cheerful, obsessively efficient. But he also has a few things to hide: his habit of reading other people's mail, a nervous breakdown, and a sexually ambiguous entanglement with his sister. Now his supervisors are on to his letter-hoarding compulsion, and there's a throbbing pain under his right arm. Things are closing in on Albert, who will soon be forced to confront, once and for all, his life's failures. Funny and moving, driven by a wild, compulsive interior voice, Mailman is a unique creation, a deeply original American novel. Already optioned to the movies, this astonishing and kinetically charged tale was one of the most exuberantly praised novels of 2003.

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