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The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault
  

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

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Deceptively clever and utterly compelling, this beautifully written little book will continue to haunt your thoughts long after you've finished it. Set in Montreal, the world of Bilodo the postman is a simple one, but he regularly sneaks a peek into other peoples worlds by reading their handwritten letters; events take a darker turn as he deviates from voyeur into an obsessive usurper. The author uses Japanese haiku and tanka poetry to allow Bilodo to converse with the woman of his dreams; exquisite clusters of words will snag your attention and demand that you re-read them. This is essentially a book of love, of what might have been and of what could still come… ~ Liz Robinson

One of our Books of the Year 2014.

Selected as a BBC Radio 2 Book Club title in September 2014.

Reader Reviews

In addition, some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Cath Humphris - 'This quirky poetic story is a treat.  Bilodo the post-man's adventure in love and Japanese poetry is delightful.  Like the Haiku, it's a series of concise contrasts and surprises.' Read full review >
  • Katy Noyes - 'A snake eats its own tale in this short novel with shades of both Amelie and Cyrano de Bergerac.' Read full review >
  • Edel Waugh - '. If you ever had a moment where you wondered what if.... Then this philosophical story is for you.' Read full review >
  • Sally Doel - 'This is a story with love and tragedy and revelations, with deception and lies thrown in..., I was quite taken with it and thought about it a lot...' Read full review >
  • Megan Williams - 'A surprising tale that despite all initial sweet and harmless appearances, manages to pack a punch which is unexpectedly powerful for such a small novel.' Read full review >
  • Clare Topping - 'At just over 100 pages this is an afternoon’s read, enjoyable, a bit different, but with room for improvement.' Read full review >
  • Lisa Faulkner - '...a quirky and interesting novel.... An enjoyable and thought provoking read.' Read full review >
  • Jayne Burton - 'A captivating and surprising book - and I loved it...I am sad I have finished it and can't recommend it highly enough.'  Read full review >
  • Wendy Stubbs - 'Peculiar, as in the title of the book. But a compelling and thought-provoking story. Love through poetry, deceit and intrigue. Surprisingly engaging story...Highly recommended.' Read full review >
  • Alison Layland - 'A fascinating novel that really drew me into its world...The writing style, excellently conveyed by translator Liedewy Hawke, is a lovely combination of humour and depth...' Read full review >
  • Nancy Krois - 'This is an intriguing book, and a beautifully written one, where French- Canadian and Japanese culture meet.' Read full review >
  • Mandy Carver - 'I found this little book easy to read and thought provoking....  I never expected the ending of the book, it makes you think.' Read full review >

Synopsis

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault

*Selected for Simon Mayo's BBC Radio 2 Book Club* Secretly steaming open envelopes and reading the letters inside, Bilodo has found an escape from his lonely and routine life as a postman. When one day he comes across a mysterious letter containing a single haiku, he finds himself avidly caught up in the relationship between a long-distance couple who write to each other using only beautiful poetry. He feasts on their words, vicariously living a life for which he longs. But it will only be a matter of time before his world comes crashing down around him.

Reviews

'Enchanting, philosophically astute and deeply poignant'
John Burnside

'Quirky and charming with a well-executed denouement, this novella brings to mind nothing less than a giddily-lovesick Kafka'
Guardian

'A captivating philosophical tale'
Le Devoir, Canada

'A love story between two people who've never met, thanks to the magic of a deepening correspondence. In times of internet and social networking, Theriault succeeds in offering fine and spirited promotion for letters'
Le Figaro, France

About the Author

Denis Theriault

Denis Thériault was born on the north shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence, near Sept-Îles, Quebec, has a degree in psychology and is an award-winning screenwriter who lives with his family in Montreal.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd February 2017

Author

Denis Theriault

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Publisher

Oneworld Publications

Format

Paperback
144 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Reading Groups
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781786070531

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