Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The Peculiar Life Of A Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault + Giveaway

Scroll down for the new Giveaway!

The Peculiar Life Of A Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault 
First published in French as Facteur Emotif in Canada in 2005 by XYZ Editeur. English language translation by Liedewy Hawke first published in 2008. Hesperus Press English edition published in 2014.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the book from
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

I registered this book at Bookcrossing

How I got this book:
Purchased from the book sale at Arlington Gets Cajun

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'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 only 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. Denis Thériault weaves a passionate and elegant tale, comic and tragic with a love story at its heart. Philosophical, rich in description and detail, it cannot fail to move.'

I was very lucky to pick up a practically new copy of this novella when a local village library was closing down. It is set in French Canada which makes a nice change from Toronto-based books (If you've read my WorldReads - Canada blog post, that comment will make more sense!) and I love that it also draws together themes from two other books I have read fairly recently. Our eponymous Lonely Postman, Bilodo, teaches himself to write the Japanese poetry form, haiku, which I enjoyed in Caroline Gourlay's haiku collection, Across The Silence. Plus, I learned about master poet Matsuo Basho when following Lesley Downer's travels across rural Japan in On The Narrow Road To The Deep North.

Theriault evokes Japanese philosophy and literary style in what felt to me to be a very French book so I liked the blend of cultures. His portrayal of Bilodo is wonderfully complete considering the complexity of his character and the short length of this novella. I found myself sympathising with the man despite his rather creepy behaviour. The Peculiar Life is a beautifully emotional read and the poetry exchange has to be one of the best interpretations of passionate sex I have ever read! Obsessional behaviour often makes for a fascinating novel and The Peculiar Life Of A Lonely Postman is a great example of this genre.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Denis Theriault / Novellas / Books from Canada

And now for the Giveaway!

I have my paperback copy of The Peculiar Life Of A Lonely Postman to giveaway simply for answering the following question on this blog post. How easy is that?!

The Question:
Name another book which features haiku or Japanese poetry? (If you need a clue, I've mentioned two in my review above!)

Comment your answer on this post before midnight (UK time) on the 10th of August to be in with a chance of winning.

This paperback book is my copy so not new, but still in very good condition. The book has been registered on Bookcrossing and you are welcome to add your stage of its journey or ignore the label as you prefer.

The Giveaway is open worldwide. Answers must be commented by midnight (UK time) on the 10th August and I will randomly pick a winner on the 11th. The winner will be notified by replying to their Comment so if you think you might miss this response please also include other contact info such as your blog URL, twitter name or FB page. If the winner does not respond within 7 days, they will forfeit the prize.

Good luck!

This giveaway is listed on:


  1. "Across the silence"
    Intriguing review- book sounds very unique and interesting! Would be very interested in winning a copy!

    1. I thought it a pretty unique read.
      Thanks for entering my giveaway!

    2. Congrats on winning my book Giveaway! I will DM on Twitter for your address :-)

  2. I'm not a big poetry fan, but the idea for the book sounds really great, don't know any books that have Haiku that I can think of.

    1. Yes, it's a trickier question this week. I think, subconsciously, I'd rather keep this book than give it way ;-)

  3. Congrats to BoblioManiac who is this week's Giveaway winner!

    There's now a new Giveaway running at