The Postmortal: very creepy thriller about a cure for aging

The Postmortal, by Drew Magary, is the first-hand account of what happens when a cure for aging is discovered. The story is told to us by 29-year-old John Farrell, an estate lawyer who, in the year 2019, visits a doctor who performs the cure on him for $7,000. The cure is not a fountain of youth. If you take the cure at the age of 65, you will remain 65 years old indefinitely. Also, The cure does not prevent you from dying from cancer, heart attack, alcohol-induced liver failure, or other illness. However, almost everybody who hears about the cure, wants it, even though it is expensive and painful.

Some of the people who don't want the cure lobby the government to prohibit the cure, saying it will spell the end of the human race. But their voices are drowned out by the majority of people who demand it. Eventually, the United States government joins Brazil and the Netherlands in lifting the ban. Other countries soon follow. (China, however, continues to prohibit the cure. They tattoo the arms of everyone with their birth year so they can detect if somebody takes the cure.)

At first, Farrell is elated that he has halted his aging process. But as the consequences of having the entire world stop aging take their toll on the environment, Farrel's euphoria is replaced by dread and depression. Most everyone who takes the cure feels the same way. Partly they are affected by the resource shortages caused by overpopulation, but the personal aspects of quasi-immortality are surprisingly bad, too. Read the rest