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The Boomer Bible Paperback – January 10, 1991

4.8 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Boomers of management consultant Laird's title are baby boomers, and the author systematically skewers all of the things he claims that generation holds sacred--television, Wall Street avarice, the heroes of our nation's history and our Eurocentric cultural heritage. Boomers have forsaken established religions to follow Harry, the First Babe of the Boom, who gives them great things to eat, drink and inhale and who proclaims for them total exemption from responsibility for their actions. This "bible" also includes "The Book of the Damn Yankees," a version of American history, and the "Psongs" ("Happy is the man who gets to walk around with a pocketful of cash"). All of these topics have been treated better before. The book's pseudo-biblical style can be amusing at first, but it wears thin long before the end of the volume's 700-plus pages. The author is capable of an insightful observation or a genuinely funny line, but these are few and far between. And with his hipper-than-thou attitude, Laird seems to despise everyone but himself, while his muddled politics, neither left nor right, seem designed to confuse and deliberately offend readers.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

And then there is The Boomer Bible, a sprawling, wickedly funny modern rewriting of the Bible that's meant to sum up a generation. -- Meg Cox, The Wall Street Journal
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition edition (January 10, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563050757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563050756
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read the Boomer Bible 5 years ago. At first I thought it was just a humor book. It's sold in the humor section of book stores. The book is indeed hilarious. But it's also a profound and frightening journey into our modern world. Virtually every subject from the beggining of time is touched upon and we learn from Laird's distinctive style of writing just how we got into this modern mess we're in. After reading the censored chapter (where some harrier has crossed out all the lines they don't want you to read-a very clever device), I felt profoundly depressed. I believed I was a harrier and that there was no hope. Laird's satire really hit home. But the punk testament pulled me right out of the myre and gave me new hope. Laird is a genius, the book is hilarious and brilliant. At first you hear of Harry and you are excited and amused by his teachings. You want to believe in the things he believes in. He speaks for you, but slowly you learn that holding on to those beliefs and not questioning them are where we've gone terribly wrong. When I started the book, I was indeed a Harrier, after reading it, I'm a punk with an axe to grind. I've bought at least 15 copies of this book as gifts for friends. I think it's one of the most importants book ever written. It should be read and studied by everyone.
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Format: Paperback
Laird has something to say about the human condition - and he says it with a striking amount of style and humor. Copying the format of an actual bible (books divided into chapters and verses, complete with cross-references) the Boomer Bible gives an irreverent and scorching account of every nation's history. The prose favors brevity and hilarity. Very quickly the reader gains the impression that we humans have botched it. From the very beginning we've been nothing but bad news, killing each other with pointed sticks and spending all our time inventing new ways of murdering one another. It's been the same all through the centuries; we're bad, bad, and worse. There's no reason to expect the future will be different, there's no point in changing, so why try? Or so says Harry, the Christ-like effigy that pops up in the "New Testament" portion. The Boomer Bible was poignant, touching, and so funny there were times I had to stop reading just to appreciate it. Praise is cheap, but this truly was an amazing book.
Why only 4 stars? The books meant to parallel the prophets of the Old Testament were just plain dry, and I suspect the author might have intended them to be skipped. I slogged my way through much of them hoping for something, but surrounded by the humor and significance of the rest of the book, they were a barren desert. I ended up skipping very many pages, though I hated doing so for fear of missing something.
I unconditionally recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
I imagine many people have lifted "The Boomer Bible" off a bookstore shelf, given it a cursory flip-through, thought "weird", and put it right back. That's what I did -- but fortunately, a couple months later my mom saw it in the store while Christmas shopping and decided it would be a good gift for a weird kid. That was over a decade ago, and I still return to it regularly... sometimes for entertainment, sometimes for inspiration, and sometimes to dig for hidden treasure.
TBB can be read linearly, from front to back, just like any other book, and that alone is worth the price of admission for its immense variety of jokes, memorable turns of phrase, and observations about the often-unacknowledged dogma that permeates the modern mind. The "Past Testament" takes us through the history of the world and the bases of the "Baby Boomer" worldview; the "Present Testament" relates the story of Harry, a man of wealth and taste who inspires the Boomers to do all kinds of fun things; the "Book of Harrier Brayer" codifies the Boomer Way into a secular religion; and finally, a "Punk Testament" tells the story of some nobodies who react to the Boomer Way with crazy ideas.
When you've finished reading "The Boomer Bible", though, you've only finished reading it one way. There's a lot more to it, and if you enjoy puzzles, "The Boomer Bible" has countless hours of brain-teasers in store. (I should emphasize, though, that the book stands just fine on the merits of linear reading alone -- in my case, I had hardly any idea of the iceberg under the surface until I found discussions of TBB on the Internet, long after it had become my favorite book.)
The only reservation I have about recommending "The Boomer Bible" is that it might give some readers dangerous ideas. If you apply the Boomer Way properly this shouldn't be a problem, but if you fail to do so, don't blame me.
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Format: Paperback
I have no idea when I first came into possession of the Boomer Bible, aside from a rainy summer afternoon one year; it must've been before 2001. By the time I'd gone through the first reading of it, the Boomer Bible had become one of my desert-island books. It still is.

I'm still not sure whether this is Horatian or Juvenalian satire, a spoof or a polemic. What I do know is that it's grown on me with time: TBB is a book that rewards smartness. (Not that you need smartness to love it. Cen. 22:20-23.) What I do know is that this is one of the great 20th-century works of American satire, and if humanity survives another century it'll be remembered as such. What I do know is that "satire" belittles it, because like the Onion TBB speaks truly enough to border on the prophetic.

You really must read this book. Because in classic Boomer fashion it IS all about you.
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