The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Thériault

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

Denis Thériault

What a surprising little book this is and quite hard to pigeonhole. I could not condone the actions of a postman who steams open the letters he intercepts. But my unease was swept away by the beautiful haiku and tanka that form part of the story - simply sublime.


The letters from the Guadeloupean woman contained nothing else. Always a single sheet of paper on which was written a single poem. It wasn't much, yet it was generous, since those poems nourished you as much as a whole novel - they were long in your soul, where they echoed forever. Bilodo learned them by heart and recited them to himself on his morning round. He treasured them up in the top drawer of his bedside table and liked spreading them around him at night, constructing a kind of mystical circle, and rereading them one after the other...

  • The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
  • Can't and Won't by Lydia Davis

Books with similar mood

Mr Golightly's Holiday

Salley Vickers

When My Sister was Cleopatra Moon

Frances Park

The Visitation

Sue Reidy

The Marrying of Chani Kaufman

Eve Harris

Niagara Falls All Over Again

Elizabeth McCracken

Peacocks Dancing

Sharon Maas

The Testimony of Taliesin Jones

Rhidian Brook

Who Will Love Polly Odlum?

Anne Marie Forrest

Tom, Dick and Debbie Harry

Jessica Adams

Happiness is Possible

Oleg Zaionchkovsky

The Art Thief

Noah Charney

Eleanor Rigby

Douglas Coupland

This is Your Life

John O'Farrell


Michael Carson

The Waterproof Bible

Andrew Kaufman

The Book of Khartoum

Rapheal Cormack and Max Shmookler eds

The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion

Some New Ambush

Carys Davies

Vinland Sheep

Helen Shacklady


Lily Prior

Going Down

Kate Thompson


Jamie O'Neill

Foreign Parts

Sarah Grazebrook

Shadow Song

Terry Kay

Mr Muo's Travelling Couch

Dai Sijie

The President's Hat

Antoine Laurain

Life According to Lubka

Laurie Graham

Girls of Riyadh

Rajaa Alsanea

The Dirty Girls Social Club

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Everyday Eclipses

Roger McGough

Les Liasons Culinaires

Andreas Staikos

Three Wise Men

Martina Devlin

Something for the Weekend

Pauline Mclynn

The Dressmaker

Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck

Monsieur Ka

Vesna Goldsworthy

Peace and Conflict

Irene Sabatini

One More Thing

B J Novak

The Truth about Marie

Jean-Philippe Toussaint

Lucky Break

Esther Freud

Invisible River

Helena McEwen

With My Lazy Eye

Julia Kelly

The Zoya Factor

Anuja Chauhan


Manju Kapur

Miss Fanny's Voice

Dorit Peleg


Julian Fellowes

Sexual Healing

Jill Nelson


Tim O'Brien

Family Trust

Amanda Brown

Scenes from the Life of a Best-selling Author

Michael Kruger