Title: The Postmortal
Author: Drew Magary
The basic premise of Drew Magary’s debut novel The Postmortal is simple: a cure for aging has been discovered, but is the world really prepared for the consequences?As Magary reveals, there are pros and cons to such a discovery and no questions have simple answers. At the start of Postmortal, June 2019, the cure is illegal in the United States. Though discovered in Oregon and available on the black market, the president bans it, stating that we need to understand the consequences of a cure for aging. Our hero, John Farrell, decides to get the cure anyway and be twenty-nine until he dies. The cure, you see, only cures aging. The body will stop aging at the moment the cure is administered. You can still die through illness or injury, but you will never simply grow old and die. Already the world is at odds over what to do with the cure: who gets it? Who doesn’t? What about resources?
Flash forward ten years, June 2029, and John is still twenty-nine years old. The world is still at odds, but consequences of the now-legal (even in the U.S.) cure are becoming clearer: China has closed itself off from the world, Russia is building an ever-increasing, eternally-young army of soldiers, and the U.S. is falling quickly into third-world status thanks to a huge population jump. The problems John and those in his world now face are not all on the global scale. Marriage itself is slowly redefined: how many people want to say “till death do us part” if that may not be for hundreds or thousands of years?
Covering in all a staggering sixty years, Magary’s novel is thought-provoking, and also darkly funny. It’s rare to find books that can make readers laugh out loud and also provoke meaningful, intelligent discussion and debate. Magary manages both with ease.--Kyla Paterno
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