Foreword Review — Nov / Dec 1999
Ever wonder what lunatic thoughts roam the minds of homegrown terrorists such as the Oklahoma City bombers or the Unibomber? Lowe with the help of Muller lets listeners eavesdrop with this eerily detailed, fictional account of one postal worker’s spiral into dangerous dementia.
The audiobook is based on the 1995 novel, “Dead Checks.” The story pits rookie postal inspector Victor Kazy against the outwardly quiet and demur Calvin Beach—who has a hidden hatred brewing inside.
He judges people he sees by their race, gender and politics. Liberals, whose numbers are boosted by immigration, are undermining personal freedoms cherished by the Vietnam veteran. He’s supporting society’s laziest through the welfare checks his paycheck subsidizes. Beach even helps deliver the checks to recipients doorsteps as a postal worker. “Where’s the justice anymore, huh?” Beach wonders. “Where’s America like it used to be?”
He decides to fight back. It is war, at least in Beach’s mind. Visions of his dead father, whom Beach sees in the face of the moon, motivate him into action: “Whatever he (Beach) did wouldn’t be much, but it would be something by God.”
Suspense grows as Beach’s battle plan erupts in Arizona, complete with murders, plastic explosives, kidnapping, political statements, an abandoned missile base and a love affair.
The story line and its characters are at times predictable and overly simplistic, as even the audiobook’s title indicates. “I’m just a postal clerk going postal as they say,” Beach says.
Yet, Muller is able to pull listeners deeply into the story. His ability to master characters and give each a personality through ever changing tone and inflection is impressive. He growls with the threatening tones of a murderer, the sweetness of a Spanish accent, the slow drawl of a drunk—all within minutes.
This sublime story of one man’s battle to preserve his cockeyed vision of America inevitably stirs listeners to look at their own sense of what America is and should be.