Fran Lebens

Paperbacks

Mailman

By

Granta Books 496pp £7.99 order from our bookshop

A failed marriage, an incestuous relationship, an obsession with pornographic material and other people’s letters, an abortive attempt to improve the postal system in Kazakhstan and a fight with an enormous cancerous growth are just some of the elements that make up the complex life of Albert Lippincott, New York State’s weirdest mailman. In this master6.d work, which challenges our perceptions of insanity, we follow Albert as he tries to come to terms with the difficulty of human interaction and the purpose of existence. It is an immense achievement to have created a character who is both desperately angry and distrustful of humanity yet, at the same time, so endearing. The writing is rhythmic and edgy and displays a sardonic wit. What is otherwise an original and darkly comic novel is somewhat marred, however, by an over-sentimental ending. Fran Lebens

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