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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Oblivion: A Novel Place to Live by Hank Bruce is a refreshingly wonderful book.
 It's part mystical, fantasy, historical, whimsical, and a hard book to put down and at the end you want the story to go on forever. It is a novel place to live, in that it's a different and unique town that also happens to be in a novel.

Oblivion is a ghost town in New Mexico. Belinda is a burned out advertising executive that leaves the office, buys clothes from thrift store, gets on a bicycle and rides away. On a whim when she sees an old faded wooden sign that says Oblivion decides to check it out. She meets Ben, who's an artist that lives a few miles away. They enjoy each other's company, spend the night together platonically and go their separate ways. Then the story gets interesting.
Ben has some friends who he tells about Belinda, they decide the only way he can get her back is to buy Oblivion, which just happens to be for sale. They grab some of his paintings and at an open air market make nearly two thousand dollars. He wins the bid and now owns a ghost town.
Belinda meets a woman who has mystical powers. The woman convinces her to come back to Oblivion and when a biker gang starts to harass them suddenly there's a thunder storm that drives the bad guys away and they go on.
The homeless in Santa Fe flock to the town, start cleaning it up and fixing up houses for their families. Scientists from the University of New Mexico decide to make a social experiment of the town and built wind turbines and solar panels for electricity. They built solar toilets that bake human waste into bricks that they can then use for fuel.
Naturally there's the rancher who was outbid for the town and offers thousands more for it, which is refused. He needs the town because it has the underground water he's been using for his ranch.
Meanwhile Belinda becomes a poet, Ben is not equipped to run a town. He just wants to paint.
An old Indian comes and takes over the spiritual side of things telling everyone that this is a town built around love. When the rancher tries to have his road crew block of the only road leading into the town, which is land he owns. The mystic woman sends a swarm of bees to drive them away.
A lot goes on in this book. It's not all peace and harmony in the town without proper structure. The rancher sees to it that government agencies snoop around and want to shut the town down for not complying with rules and regulations.
The plot is intriguing in and of itself, but Hank's prose and poetry is what really makes the book memorable. I'm reminded of Bridges of Madison County. The way the book was worded is what made the book.
This is definitely a book everyone should enjoy.

1 comment:

Berthold Gambrel said...

Sounds interesting. I will check it out as soon as I work my way through my current to-be-read list.