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Mailman

by J Lennon

This is an absolute gem! It's a long book but for me not long enough - I could have gone on reading! A very cynical look at American society through the eyes of an ordinary guy, struggling in a world in which everybody and everything seems to be conspiring to thwart him. His intelligent, jaundiced view of life is at the same time highly comic and deeply sad. Some wonderfully funny set pieces had me laughing out loud.

Extract

He climbs in back, into the half dark, and performs the daily ritual of separating out those letters in whose company he will spend his evening .... A personal letter, half-sealed. Another with the flap tucked in, the adhesive unlicked. A manila envelope lined with bubble plastic, stapled shut without any tape. It amazes and infuriates him to discover how haphazard people are about their mail: don't they realise their privacy is at stake, their credit card numbers, their secrets, their nude or partially nude photographs? Don't they have any self-respect? Besides, a reader of other people's mail wants a challenge.

Parallels

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
The Rabbit books by John Updike
 

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