Review: The Oblivion Society by Marcus Alexander Hart
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
"The Oblivion Society" by Marcus Alexander Hart
Permuted Press, 2007
$15.95 Trade Paperback
300 pages, ISBN: 0976555956
What do Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski have to do with the apocalypse? Not much, outside of inspiring the tryst that brings it on. And, as in this review, you won't see them again after the introduction. "The Oblivion Society" is a hilarious post-dot-com, energy-drink-fueled apocalyptic romp with some fun science (somewhat abused) and clever characterizations.
The book is populated by a group of late teen/early twenties geeks, goths, and jocks. They form a ragged party trying to survive in the newly-barren urban wilderness, all the while, of course, either trying to find themselves, or finding themselves despite their best efforts not to. And strange creatures are starting to come out of the woodwork...
The story's about the characters, and that's where the conflicts and arcs shine, and where the one-liners string together page after page. A lot of the jokes were targeted for the comic- and sci-fi-geek audience, and I did find one or two fell flat when I didn't get the reference, but I got most of the references without being exceptionally well-versed, and I was laughing uproariously through most of the book. And I don't mean laughing uproariously "on the inside".
If it lacked for anything, it might have been in the somewhat lack-luster plot--but really, when your city's been nuked and the only sign of civilization is a children's show being broadcast on a loop, all you can do is wander and hope. They were off to see the wizard, but had no idea where to find him--and by the end of the book, after many personal and physical conflicts, they realized they didn't really need to find anyone else, anyway.
Both a video trailer and the first 82 pages of the book are available on http://www.oblivionsociety.com--I came across it myself from a Project Wonderful ad on GUD Magazine's website, read the first few pages and immediately asked them for a review copy. It was everything the teaser made me hope for, and more.
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