Book Review: The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman- Denis Thériault
I was very lucky to be sent a preview copy of The Pecular Life of a Lonely Postman prior to release in order to review it, which was very exciting for me. The short novel tells the story of Bilodo, a French Canadian postman living an unremarkable life. Bored on his rounds, he starts opening post before resealing it and delivering it and, through this process, discovers beautiful haikus written by a lady named Ségoléne. Over time, Bilodo continues to intercept her correspondence and becomes obsessed with Ségoléne. Unfortunately, her penpal, a scruffy man on Bilodo's round, encounters a tragic end and Bilodo, fraught with terror at losing his one link to Ségoléne, completely immerses himself in Gaston's life in order to continue the poetic letters.

Much is made of the story recalling Murakami's writing but, apart from the elements of Japanese culture, this was not a comparison I would have made. I can see similarities within the tone, but only because it's been pointed out to me. Had it not been brandished all over the blurb, I wouldn't have noticed a similarity and, as I have read most of Murakami's work, this doesn't exactly convince me that Thériault's writing recalls Murakami's. However, it certainly is beautifully written, with a poetic quality even in the prose.
Sometimes the details of the haikus became a little tedious. I understand that it was important for the reader to experience the correspondence between Ségoléne and Bilodo, but at times it did feel like Thériault was just trying to show off his haiku skills.

There was a real twist in the tale in the last couple of pages. It wasn't a particularly subtle or refined plot twist but it certainly gave me that "Oh! NOW I get it!" feeling: I had to go back and read parts again armed with my new knowledge to see how all the dots joined up. 
I do recommend The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman, which is due for release in January 2015. It may not have reminded me of Murakami much, but it's certainly an elegantly written and concise tragedy.


  1. Oooh this sounds right up my street. I've not read Murakami but think I'll definitely look it up before reading this :) xx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle & Fashion

  2. This sounds like a really lovely read, I love the cover too!

    Jess xo

  3. Check you and your proof! It sounds like a nice read, something to watch out for once I have all my Christmas spending money haha :) x

  4. i loved this book from first to last page.


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