The inscription preceding Drew Magary’s first novel, The Postmortal (Penguin, August 2011), is a quote from the band Mastodon. Though appropriate for a story about a species in peril, this reference is an unfortunate omen for the novel to come. Mastodon, for the uninitiated, is a popular (and pretty damn great) metal band whose shows are so notoriously populated by knuckle-dragging testosterone junkies that I’ve always been afraid to attend. As a 30-year-old lady geek, this band and many aspects of Magary’s novel are fantastic in concept, exclusionary in practice.

A preface from the reviewer: Those who know me on Tumblr (or from the bar) are privy to my bias against suburban, domestic fiction. The minutiae of bored people facing the pressures of childrearing and their own mortality have never been my cup of tea, even when magnificently depicted.  I have an admitted preference for things that are, well, a little out there.