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Boomsday: A Novel

BOOMSDAY'S heroine is Cassandra Devine, a charismatic 29-year-old blogger who incites massive political turmoil when, outraged over mounting Social Security debt, she politely suggests that Baby Boomers be given government incentives to kill themselves by age 75. Her modest proposal catches fire with millions of her outraged peers ("Generation Whatever") and an ambitious Senator seeking to gain the youth vote in his presidential campaign. With the help of Washington's greatest spin doctor, the blogger and the politician try to ride the issue of euthanasia for Boomers (they call it "Transitioning") all the way to the White House, over the forceful objections of the Religious Right and, of course, Baby Boomers, who are deeply offended by demonstrations on the golf courses of their retirement resorts.Read by Janeane Garofalo! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Audible Audio Edition

Listening Length: 10 hours and 18 minutes

Program Type: Audiobook

Version: Unabridged

Publisher: Hachette Audio Release Date: March 21, 2007

Language: English


Best Sellers Rank: #186 in Books > Computers & Technology > Internet & Social Media > Blogging & Blogs #1848 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Political #3466 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Humor > Satire

Just out this week, Christopher Buckley once again proves his prowess for political satire. The title of Boomsday refers to the impending fiscal crisis coming from the retirement of the Baby Boomers. This will cause strain on the Social Security system and Medicare. The protagonist of the novel, Cassandra Devine, spin doctor by day, blogger by night (with the help of Red Bull) has had a lot of troubles in her young life, but rallies the "Whatever" Generation to cause when Congress once again places the Boomers financial cost onto post Gen-Xers.Buckley once again provides laughs at the expense of those in power, and presents a masterful understanding of politics. Overall, I enjoyed Boomsday more than Florence of Arabia, but not as much as Thank You For Smoking. I think the reason for this is that the character of Nick Naylor in Smoking is just utterly captivating, and it is his character that drives the story.Cassandra Devine is perhaps not as fully realized as Naylor, but is still someone the reader can latch onto. As a blogger myself, I assume people might expect me to make some comment as to Cassandra's hobby as a blogger. Well it's pretty spot on, except I personally don't write into the wee hours of the day blogging. It's good in that she's a blogger, but she isn't sitting home in her pajamas all day, and thus perhaps reflects most bloggers who are regular (or semi-regular people). The character also makes reference to not having post times at odd hours of the morning. That I find especially funny, as I have done that on more than one occasion.Randy Jepperson, the other main character in the book is interesting. A Senator from Massachusetts, and it isn't clear whether or not Buckley wants us to like him or not.

If I were to rate Boomsday based on its insightful analysis of politics or social trends, or for its well developed characters, I'd only give it three stars. But it is such a hilarious, cynical and entertaining romp through the corrupt swampland of Washington D.C. that I had to give it four.Christopher Buckley's satirical novel is named after the day when the Baby Boom generation starts to retire. I'm not sure if the word is his invention (and I'm too lazy to Google it right now) or not, but the concept is that younger workers are going to have to pay higher taxes to fund the Boomer's social security checks. Cassandra, the closest thing to a protagonist among the novel's motley array of amoral schemers, is a twenty-nine year old, ex-military PR genius who sets off a near revolution by writing some inflammatory blogs on the issue.Cass works for a borderline sleazy (well, maybe not so borderline really) PR firm run by a Boomer (everyone in this novel is characterized by their generation, a device that lends itself towards oversimplification, of course) named Terry. During her stint in the army, she became involved with Randy Jepperson (who is constantly reminded that he's no Jefferson), an opportunistic Congressman with presidential aspirations. The three scheme to form a platform that will galvanize younger voters in anti-Boomer anger to vote Randy into the White House. Cass comes up with a rather draconian solution -give Boomer's tax credits if they kill themselves at age seventy.Boomsday, though obviously a satire, tackles a real issue, though in a rather superficial manner. In this way, it's a bit of a disappointment. The big issues raised by Buckley seem to fizzle out as the novel progresses, reduced to mere fodder for the humor.

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