The Postmortal by Drew Magary

No spoilers, read on. 😉

Do you want to stay young forever? Do you want to live for as long as you want?
Read this book and think twice.

The Postmortal is a brilliant novel,  grim and ugly at times but so real… Or maybe life itself is grim and ugly but we refuse to see it this way, because it’s depressing…

Magary portrays the near future where a cure for aging is discovered and everyone wants it. But what happens when you find yourself able to live forever…How would our values change…how are we going to look for the purpose of our lives…how do we know we had enough of Life? What would happen to the world if we are granted the freedom to live forever, yet not changing our habits and continue being wasteful of our planet’s resources?

The Postmortal is thought provoking and sometimes it made me feel like I don’t want to keep reading… because I was disgusted…of this “new world”. But Magary has really thought of a lot of things that would probably never cross your mind if you only think of “how cool it’d be to stay young forever” , so that made the book fascinating enough to keep reading.

In terms of style of writing and storytelling, Magary is doing a good job. I did not find needless repetitions or endless descriptions that bore no value for the plot. I did not find myself wondering when is the next chapter coming, bored by the current one, nor did I find myself losing interest. So in my opinion, Magary has good writing skills.

I would recommend this book to people who are tired of reading predictable, non-realistic books…to people who want to live forever, or stay young forever, to those who want to have a look at the possible future that awaits us, to those who want to see what can happen if we overpopulate our planet…

A bit of a ramble on the philosophical questions that come to me as I think about the book…

People often say “Life is hard” , but in all honesty “Is it really hard?” or is it only some people’s  somewhat temporary point of view…What are you comparing Life to at all? Death? Is being dead any easier? And how would you know if being dead is easier? Although I know the answer I still wonder sometimes why people cling to Life so desperately… I don’t know if I would like to take the cure if I could. I probably would, not because I fear death, but because I fear my body wrecking into a painful bag of bones…Old age and moreover the pain it accompanies it, seems more of a burden to me than death. I dislike pain, and I have enough of it in my life now at age 22, that I cannot and don’t even want to imagine my body at 60+ years of age… I don’t share some of the core beliefs and values many people have, so in a way I don’t really see what eternal youth can give me that I cannot have from having a ‘normal’ life.. After all, we hold the power to decide what we want to do in life…and no matter how much time we have, we are unlikely to do it any different anyway. If we have eternal youth and possibly life, we can continue putting off things, believing we’ve got all the time in the world. On the other hand, when we have our ‘normal’ life we are too busy doing the things other people expect us to do, that we often forget what we want to do, fearing judgement and often facing discouragement. But hey, tell me what is in your way of doing what you want, living the life you want NOW? It’s you. And I’m not saying it as an overoptimistic psychologist, I’m saying it as someone who knows what is the greatest force that influences and determines each and everyone’s life. We ourselves sabotage our dreams and prevent ourselves from living the life we want for ourselves…. So although we may continue dreaming for eternal youth or life, I doubt that we are going to make the best out of it, unless we change from the inside… And trust me if people change from the inside, humanity is going to find out that as Seneca says “Life, if well lived, is long enough.” (Seneca, Roman philosopher, mid-1st  century AD)..  But anyways, that’s my philosophy on the matter…

So do you still think we need an eternal youth and/or life?

 Check out the book here >  The Postmortal

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