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Boomsday Hardcover – April 2, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve; 1 edition (April 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446579815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446579810
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

[Signature] Reviewed by Jessica CutlerIt's the end of the world as we know it, especially if bloggers are setting the national agenda. In his latest novel, Buckley imagines a not-so-distant future when America teeters on the brink of economic disaster as the baby boomers start retiring. Buckley takes on such pressing (however boring) topics as Social Security reform and fiscal solvency, as does his protagonist. And get this: she's a blogger.Buckley's heroine is "a morally superior twenty-nine-year-old PR chick" who blogs at night about the impending Boomsday budget crisis. Of course, "she was young, she was pretty, she was blonde, she had something to say." She has a large, doting audience that eagerly awaits her every blog entry. And her name? Cassandra. And the name of her blog? Also Cassandra. Of course, Buckley doesn't let his allusion get by us:"She was a goddess of something," another character struggles to remember, which gives his heroine the opportunity to educate us about the significance of her namesake."Daughter of the king of Troy. She warned that the city would fall to the Greeks," she explains. "Cassandra is sort of a metaphor for catastrophe prediction. This is me. It's what I do." So Cassandra, doing what she does, starts by calling for "an economic Bastille Day" and her minions take to destroying golf courses in protest. Cassandra grabs headlines and magazine covers, and the president starts wringing his hands over what she might blog about next. Her follow-up: a radical but tantalizingly expedient solution to that most vexing of issues, the Social Security problem—Cassandra proposes that senior citizens kill themselves in exchange for tax breaks. Buckley, author of Thank You for Smoking, shows great imagination as he fires his pistol at the feet of his straw women and men. In 300-plus pages, though, it would be nice if he had found a way to endear us to at least one of his characters. Yes, we know that Washington is "an asshole-rich environment," as one puts it, but some Tom Wolfe–style self-loathing might be good for characters who use the word touché. Full disclosure: I'm a blogger of Cassandra's generation, and at times the totally over-the-top, relentlessly us-against-them scenario reminded me that I was reading a book written by someone not of the blogging generation, someone who Cassandra would want put down. Oh, the irony in these generationalist feelings. Then again, maybe that's exactly Buckley's point.Jessica Cutler is the author of The Washingtonienne.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Once again, political satirist Christopher Buckley (Thank You for Smoking) delivers a firecracker of a novel that explodes with imagination, irony, and wit. Buckley sometimes overexplains, to show off how smart he is, but he is discussing Social Security here. Besides boring subject matter, the novel contains a completely over-the-top premise and a lead character that strains credibility. So the overexplanation works, for the most part, because it evokes laughs. "If you're looking for a lighter, frothier version of Tom Wolfe," says the Los Angeles Times, "Boomsday is your ticket." Also of note: as the first release of the new publishing imprint Twelve, Boomsday comes packaged in an eye-catching, pop-art package.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.


More About the Author

Christopher Buckley was born in New York City in 1952. He was educated at Portsmouth Abbey, worked on a Norwegian tramp freighter and graduated cum laude from Yale. At age 24 he was managing editor of "Esquire" magazine; at 29, chief speechwriter to the Vice President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. He was the founding editor of "Forbes FYI" magazine (now "ForbesLife"), where he is now editor-at-large.

He is the author of fifteen books, which have translated into sixteen languages. They include: "Steaming To Bamboola," "The White House Mess," "Wet Work," "God Is My Broker," "Little Green Men," "No Way To Treat a First Lady," "Florence of Arabia," "Boomsday," "Supreme Courtship," "Losing Mum And Pup: A Memoir," and "Thank You For Smoking," which was made into a movie in 2005. Most have been named "New York Times" Notable Books of the Year. His most recent novel is "They Eat Puppies, Don't They?"

He has written for "The New York Times," "Washington Post," "Wall Street Journal," "The New Yorker," "Atlantic Monthly," "Time," "Newsweek," "Vanity Fair," "National Geographic," "New York Magazine," "The Washington Monthly," "Forbes," "Esquire," "Vogue," "Daily Beast," and other publications.

He received the Washington Irving Prize for Literary Excellence and the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He lives in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Funny, captivating, easy read.
Amazon Customer
This book will appeal to all, but especially to baby boomers and to the generation of kids that they spawned.
Frederick S. Goethel
Ultimately, my biggest complaint about the book is that I was left unsatisfied in the end.
Daimion

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Frederick S. Goethel VINE VOICE on March 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is rare when I read a work of fiction, and even rarer when the fiction I do read is outside of the mystery/thriller genres. This book, however, was recommended to me by Amazon.com and when I read the synopsis I was intrigued. So with hesitation, I bought the book.

I will not spoil the plot by writing any more about it than has been written in the book overview. I will say that there are still plenty of twists and turns left in the plot. In addition, the book is extremely well written with good dialogue, fairly quick action and a lot less of the fluff usually found in novels. It reads quickly and is hard to put down.

In the beginning, I didn't see the big deal about the humor that was supposed to be in the book. It was "ha, ha" funny, but I didn't belly laugh. Alas, I jumped to conclusions too quickly. The book had me laughing out loud in a number of places. In addition, the entire book is funny in a morbid and distressing sort of way; similar to looking at a Gahan Wilson or Charles Addams cartoon.

The plot is absurd, which makes the book work. Isn't everything about Washington, D.C. absurd to begin with? The author just takes everything to the next level...or does he? Is this fiction or reality on Red Bull? While reading the book, I had the sense there was a message underlying the main story. I will let the reader figure this out for themselves.

This book will appeal to all, but especially to baby boomers and to the generation of kids that they spawned. If you haven't bought it, or do not know the author's work, I highly recommend this book for a good, fun filled laugh. Just leave room to finish it after you start.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Silberstein on April 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Joan R. on March 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My copy of this book arrived last week and I spent the weekend simultaneously reading, laughing out loud, and cringing...I am a baby boomer,though thankfully, not 70. Could there be a more timely topic than social security benfits, especially health care benefits, as socialized medicine... oops! Universal Health Care, is becoming a buzzword of this elongated two-year presidential election circus...umm, cycle?

If you've ever wondered how political buzzwords are generated, how politicians seem to pop up out of nowhere, why politicians who seem to have little in common suddenly are jointly sponsoring bills, how special interest groups make strange bedfellows as well, or what happens when great sounding programs actually have to be paid for, it's all here in a very funny, easy to read volume. Buckley is an equal opportunity satirist so no stone is unturned and no player is left unscathed as they try to wheel and deal their way to what they REALLY want.....MORE POWER! You will never look at the parade of candidates, the nightly news, the weekly political talk shows, a pollster, or your friendly political blog the same way.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lleu Christopher on March 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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