Mailman by J Robert Lennon
Albert Lipincott is a thirty-year veteran of the Nestor, New York Post Office - a letter carrier extraordinaire, aggressively cheerful, obsessively efficient. But Albert has a few things to hide. His unfortunate habit, for instance, of reading other people's mail. His abortive university career, complete with a crackpot theory, a nervous breakdown, and a thwarted attempt to bite out his professor's eye. A disastrous marriage, grotesquely self-absorbed parents, and a sexually ambiguous entanglement with his melodramatic sister. And then there's his attempt to reform the postal system of Kazakhstan, and his complicated relationship with his cats. And now his supervisors are on to his letter-opening compulsion, there's a throbbing pain under his left arm, and he is finding it increasingly difficult to contain his emotions. Things are closing in on Albert and he is forced to confront, once and for all, his life's failures. Albert Lipincott is a brilliant creation: flawed, damaged, but fiercely perceptive, and desperate to make meaning out of the mess of existence. He, and Lennon, hold us captive with a wild narrative voice fuelled by desperation and touched by madness.