The Oblivion Society Review
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I’ve been on some strange road trips before—but none of them were nearly as strange (yet strangely enjoyable) as the post-apocalyptic road trip that a motley band of twenty-somethings embark upon in The Oblivion Society.

After getting fired from her crappy job as a grocery cashier—thereby losing the income that she and her unemployed computer geek brother were both living on—Vivian Gray is pretty sure that things can’t get any worse. But then it does. One minute, she’s on a date with Nick, the obnoxious energy drink guy, and the next, she’s waking up in Nick’s Humvee, and there’s a giant black cloud hanging over what was once Stillwater, Florida.

Fortunately, Vivian isn’t the only survivor of the accidental nuclear war that destroyed the world in August of 1999. As she wanders away from the big black cloud, she joins a handful of other misfits who have somehow managed to survive the end of the world. Together, the five of them head out in search of any remnants of civilization—while trying to avoid the army of radioactive animals that still roam the charred planet.

Sure, it’s a little bit strange to be reading about the total destruction of the world, which is supposed to have taken place more than eight years ago, but that’s a small obstacle to overcome in reading The Oblivion Society.

Packed with geeky one-liners and late ‘90s pop culture references, The Oblivion Society is a geek’s dream (or at least it’s a dream for those geeks who can step away from their computers long enough to do something as low-tech as reading a book). Even though I proudly admit to being a geek, some of the references even went over my head—but most of them brought about all kinds of pleasant “Oh, yeah! I remember that!” moments.

But it’s more than just the geek humor that makes The Oblivion Society such a great read. It’s also Hart’s casual style—and his knack for characterization. You’ll instantly recognize the characters: geeks Bobby and Eric, goth girl “Scary” Sherri, and cheesy actor/self-proclaimed ladies’ man Trent, who was not-so-subtly stolen from Swingers. But the fact that they’ve been done before doesn’t make them any less entertaining. In fact, it only makes them more entertaining—since, right from the beginning, you’ll feel like you already know them. Still, the characters are developed well—and, despite their quirks and their flaws, they’re a likeable band of misfits. Trent is the only character who starts to feel overdone and a little bit irritating as the story continues—but, as it turns out, there’s a perfectly good reason for that.

Irreverent and sometimes shocking—but always entertaining—The Oblivion Society is a enjoyably offbeat adventure. Its intriguing story and strangely likeable characters will pull you in, and its crisp, clever dialogue and sharp wit will keep you coming back for more. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel.

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