The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

“The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman” by Denis Thériault (Canada)


Readers liked this book despite some of the peculiar things the protagonist does! They found the story flowed well with elements of humour and suspense in it. They enjoyed discovering the haiku and tanka poetry, and after some discussion agreed that the explanations given by the author on these arts and Japanese culture were not too laboured. Readers thought that Bilodo was an interesting character, though one reader was surprised by his young age. She felt that his obsessive behaviour seemed more likely in an older person. Another reader got the impression that he must suffer from autism or an OCD. They found character interplay to be lacking though they agreed that this reflected Bilodo’s solitary life. They liked the writing style and particularly enjoyed the tempo the writing takes as the relationship between Bilodo and Ségolène reaches its climax in an exchange of poems. At just over 100 pages, readers were taken by surprise by the abruptness of the ending having expected the story to last a bit longer. Some readers were also at a loss as to how to interpret it. Overall, it averaged an 8.2 out of 10.


Bilodo lives a solitary daily life, routinely completing his post round every day and returning to his empty Montreal apartment. But he has taken to borrowing people’s post, steaming open the envelopes and reading the letters inside. Ségolène corresponds with the master poet Gaston, and their letters are composed of only haiku. The simplicity and elegance of their poems move Bilodo and he begins to fall in love with her… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 18 (Feb – Jun 2015)
“I Am A Japanese Writer” by Dany Laferrière (Haiti)
“Hour of the Star” by Clarice Lispector (Brazil)
“The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman” by Denis Thériault (Canada) *
“Tiare” by Célestine Hitiura Vaite (Tahiti)
“Apocalypse Next Tuesday” by David Safier (Germany)

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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