The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman – Denis Thériault

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman is one of the books written by Canadian author Denis Theriault in 2005 that caught my attention because it contains lots of haiku. Since I can’t concentrate on anything, in general, these days, I choose books that are easy to read and relatively short. The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman was a book that did not tire me and met my expectations, both in terms of its subject and language. However, I must say that it exceeded my expectations with its unexpected ending.


The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman tells the story of an ordinary postman who falls in love with a woman just through her letters. We neither love nor hate this postman named Bilodo. He is so ordinary that he can’t go beyond being a character that one forgets, even though he does oddities. As you can see, the characters don’t have much value in this book.

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman - Denis Thériault

But if you’re into haiku and Japanese culture in general, you might like it. Ségolène writes beautiful haikus, and Bilodo secretly reads her letters. The man for whom she wrote these haikus also answers her with haiku. However, Bilodo only reads Ségolène’s haiku. The most memorable moments of Bilodo’s life are when he reads these haiku.

While Bilodo was distributing the letters on a rainy day, a terrible accident happened, and our postman’s life changed completely. After that, Bilodo will almost cease to be himself and live someone else’s life. And all this is to be able to read Ségolène’s haiku. Nothing in Bilodo’s life excites him other than these haikus.

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman is a different novel that contains strange elements that we can call fantastic and that it surprises people at the end. Although it was not very satisfying in terms of literature, I enjoyed reading it. There were times when I thought that the author used so many unnecessary sentences, but I did not dwell on it because I read it without expectation. I loved some of the written haikus, and I was amazed by some of them. Thanks to this book, I read an erotic haiku for the first time. If you’re into haiku like I am, I recommend The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman. Enjoy!

Love haikus? You’ll devour these books:

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman - Denis Thériault

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

A beautifully tragic and thought-provoking tale that perfectly reflects the elegance and style of Murakami and the skill and plotting of Julian Barnes

Bilodo lives a solitary daily life, routinely completing his postal rounds every day and returning to his empty Montreal apartment. But he has found a way to break the cycle—Bilodo has taken to stealing people’s mail, steaming open the envelopes, and reading the letters inside. And so it is he comes across Ségolène’s letters. She is corresponding with Gaston, a master poet, and their letters are each composed of only three lines. They are writing each other haikus.

The simplicity and elegance of their poems move Bilado and he begins to fall in love with her. But one day, out on his round, he witnesses a terrible and tragic accident. Just as Gaston is walking up to the post-box to mail his next haiku to Ségolène, he is hit by a car and dies on the side of the road. And so Bilodo makes an extraordinary decision—he will impersonate Gaston and continue to write to Ségolène under this guise. But how long can the deception continue for? Denis Thériault weaves a passionate and elegant tale, comic and tragic with a love story at its heart.

Denis Thériault

Denis Thériault (born August 24, 1959) is a Canadian author, playwright and screenwriter of French-Canadian descent. He graduated in psychology from the University of Ottawa (1981). Thériault is the author of several plays including La prophétie (1980), Les cloches (1989), and Les Mordus (1990).

After winning the Télé-Québec Scenarios Competition twice with Aïrenem (1983), and then Victor le vampire (1984), he began a career as a screenwriter. Thériault contributed in the writing of several television series including La maison Deschênes (1987–88), Macaroni tout garni (2001 to 2005), Kaboum (2006 to 2010), Les argonautes (2011 to 2013). His film scripts include Frisson des Collines (2011). Thériault published his first novel in 2001, L’iguane (The Boy Who Belonged to the Sea), which won four literary awards. He has since published Le facteur émotif (Canada-Japan Prize), La fille qui n’existait pas, La fiancée du facteur, and Manucure. His novels are translated into many languages, including Russian and Chinese.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Read Around the World, A Great Journey

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