The Postman: As Usual, the Book is Better

6:38 PM

Recently, I picked up the novel behind a treasured film, Il Postino. Written by Chilean Antonio Skármeta, it had been my intention for years to read the work. The immensely charming film tells a fictional story in which the real life Chilean poet Pablo Neruda forms a relationship with Mario, a simple postman who learns to love poetry. In the film, Mario is played by Massimo Troisi, who died tragically, aged 41, the day after the filming of Il Postino was completed.

Whereas the film is set on an Italian island in the 1950s, the novel was set in Chile, with Neruda living in his home at Isla Negra around 1970.The novel hugs more closely to a history that I know and a place, the home at Isla Negra, that I love.

There are a few differences that emerge in the plot as well, but I will not spoil the experience for those who have not seen the film or read the book. The book is just a short 109 pages.

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