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Boomsday

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  7,340 ratings  ·  909 reviews
Outraged over the mounting Social Security debt, Cassandra Devine, a charismatic 29-year-old blogger and member of Generation Whatever, incites massive cultural warfare when she politely suggests that Baby Boomers be given government incentives to kill themselves by age 75. Her modest proposal catches fire with millions of citizens, chief among them "an ambitious senator s ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 2nd 2007 by Twelve
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Becky
3.5 stars

A word of warning: I'm sick, hopped up on cold meds, and barely able to keep my eyes open - but my stupid brain won't let me relax until I have a review on the books and I can't move on to another book until I have officially finished this one. Even though I can totally read several books at once, but if I am finished with a book, I can't start a new one until I'm FINISHED... which means reviewed in this crazytown brain of mine. So, you know. It might be more rambly and incoherent (and
...more
Jessica
Couldn't really stomach this, though I did finish it. Twenty-nine year old Cassandra Devine is a PR professional and blogger who proposes a solution to the increasing Social Security debt: give Baby Boomers incentives to kill themselves by the age of seventy. She calls it "voluntary transitioning."

I loved the premise, and I'm usually all for political satire, but I just didn't care for the writing. I think this is a good example of how everyone talks in the novel:

"Ask yourself, Do you really wa
...more
Manny
The British newspapers the last few days have been full of dire figures about our national balance sheet. Officially, Britain owes 903B, which already doesn't sound good. But, if you take into account the fact that a large proportion of Britain's pension obligations aren't funded, the number goes up to a terrifying 5T - about another 200K per household. One article said that, in order to balance the books, we would need to raise taxes by 30%.

Clearly that isn't going to happen. The problem is tha
...more
Daniel
Two words come to mind as I read this, fast and glib. I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It read like a tasty drink of mostly empty calories, but it did taste great. Has all the makings of a movie that will make the right person's career, just a question of who right now in Hollywood could play the roles of Cassandra (Leslie Bibb) and Senator Jepperson (Robert Downey, Jr.), because if you get the right sexual chemistry between them, you could really have something there (oh wait, the ...more
The Book Maven
Holy crap. This book was so FREAKING GOOD.

The time and place: America, a few years down the road. Prime rates are at 18 percent. Inflation is at thirty percent. Foreign countries are refusing to loan America any more money. The United States is at war with six areas, including Quebec, and the National Guard is spread so thin that it is now safe for other countries to invite the U.S. to declare war.

And in the midst of all these financial crises, 77 million Americans--Baby Boomers all--are beginn
...more
Ensiform
In the not-so-distant future, America teeters on the brink of economic disaster as the baby boomers start retiring. Enter beautiful young ex-Army-turned PR flak, coulda-gone-to-Harvard-but-Daddy-spent-the-tuition-money crusading blogger Cassandra, who on her blog suggests that Baby Boomers voluntarily kill themselves for tax breaks, saving Social Security costs. When young people take to the streets, the ineffectual president (who happens to be in cahoots with her father, who is now a software t ...more
Joshua
Wow... I read this whole thing thinking that, maybe I just didn't get something. I was wrong. I should have quit at 33%.

Supposedly a political satire; this books says nothing valuable about politics, society or culture, and is not in the least bit funny. I don't think I even slipped out a chuckle the whole time, much less laughed. Boomsday is filled with plenty of Ivy League-rs who have never heard of political science, game theory, and have no idea how to say anything wittier then the F word.
...more
D.L. Morrese
This cynical farce of American politics includes a cast of disreputable characters. There are several ambitious politicians, a self-appointed spokeswoman for her generation on a crusade against Social Security (which she seems to have only a superficial understanding of), a fundamentalist Baptist minister (crusading against just about everything), and a slimy PR executive (who may be the most rational of the bunch). The people in this book are they type you would be best off avoiding, if possibl ...more
Samantha
Jun 24, 2008 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone with a sense of humor
Shelves: funny-satirical
Two words: Effing hilarious!

I picked this up in the Midway airport on my way back from Chicago and wow...what a wonderful find!

Picture it: 77 million Baby Boomers are on the verge of retirement, which is putting a strain on the already floundering Social Security system. The US economy is in the toilet and Congress just passed a bill raising Social Security taxes 30% for the under thirty crowd.

Enter Cassandra Devine. She's a PR spin doctor at a high-profile Washington, D.C firm that specializes
...more
Sharon
Jul 14, 2007 Sharon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: humor, satire
Will the Baby Boomers bankrupt the country and leave their children and grandchildren in hopeless debt? Why not "incentivize" suicide? This Swiftian solution--and the author even lets his character refer to Swift--is proposed by Cassandra Devine, an "under-30" who, through a series of odd events, has found her niche as a political consultant and blogger. C. Buckley knows the worlds of politics and K Street extremely well, and he uses his knowledge brilliantly. Although categorized as satire, thi ...more
Tasula
I have a deep and abiding disrespect for politicians and governments, so I thought this book was hilarious. The basic premise is a proposal by a disenchanted young woman to prevent the bankruptcy of Social Security by having retirees agree to commit suicide at age 70, in return for some added benefits before then. The proposal grows legs- it is adopted by Congressman Randolph (he's no Jefferson) Jepperson as "Voluntary Transitioning" and hotly debated by influential politicians, while the under ...more
William
The main character is a Bosnia veteran, but the author clearly hasn’t bothered to do any research - she applied to Ranger school and is an Army corporal after only eighteen months, this despite the fact that the Army doesn’t allow women to become Rangers and rarely promotes anyone to Corporal anymore, especially soldiers in Public Affairs. The congressman she escorts won’t give back the keys to her Hummvee, as if such a thing exists. Military Humvees have no keys, and a common right of passage f ...more
Amy
Reviewed for Library Journal.

Review in March 15, 2007 LJ:
This latest satire from Buckley (Thank You for Not Smoking) tackles the looming Social Security crisis, which will be triggered when all the baby boomers begin retiring, an occasion known as Boomsday. Cassandra Devine, a 29-year-old Washington PR flack, kicks off the novel's action by suggesting on her blog that members of her cohort, the "Whatever" generation, protest by taking action against gated communities, known harbors of soon-to-re
...more
Michael
Another over-the-top satire from the author of "Thank You for Smoking." Example, during a Presidential Debate, the challenger uses his 90-second response period to blurt, "Shut the Eff Up!"

Premise: An Ann Coulter-like character proposes "Voluntary Transitioning" (eg, suicide at age 70 in exchange for exemption from death taxes) to tweak the government into finding a real solution to fund Social Security.

But her modest proposal is taken seriously as both a grassroots movement among the under 30
...more
John
Cassandra Devine, 30, is a high-flying public relations flak by day. By night, she's a blogger who's outraged that her generation is being taxed to the gills to pay for Social Security for the baby boomers. She comes up with a solution to the mess: In return for significant tax benefits, baby boomers will agree to kill themselves at age 70. If they agree to this "transitioning" at age 65, they'll get even more substantial breaks.
For this, Christopher Buckley owes a debt to Jonathan Swift's "A Mo
...more
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,

...more
Heather
Entertaining, but not mind-blowing. It moves quickly - if you wanted, you could probably read it in one evening.

Even though the topic is clearly anti-Boomer, the book is full of Baby Boomer cultural references. I had to look up several of them on wikipedia.

Buckley's portrayal of the generation gap is kind of odd, too...for instance, why doesn't Cass know what Teflon is, but she knows French poetry and American history inside out? Please, that's just unrealistic - she is not a head-in-the-clouds
...more
Neil Pittman
In this book the subject changes from the smoking lobby to the Baby Boomers eating up all of our resources as they retire without having given anything back. The "worst generation" contributed nothing during their lives, and now that they're "wrinklies" they want their gimme-gimme-gimme consumerism to be subsidized on the backs of the X'ers and millenials. Whether you agree with this or not, Christopher Buckley lambastes lobbies, boomers, religion and politicians. Even if these targets aren't on ...more
David
Some of the most laugh out loud funny satire I've ever read.
Jim Wirka
This was my first book by Christopher Buckly. I'd heard many good things about it and really wanted to like it. First, the good things:

*Loved the premise - a good, satirical take on Social Security and how to fix it.
*I really like his writing. Easy to read and often clever.
*Really enjoyed the plot, although the ending certainly didn't provide much of a bang.

Now, the things I didn't especially like:

*The names. While some hit the mark (Cassandra Devine, Gideon Payne), he seemed to get too cute w
...more
Joe
Jun 17, 2014 Joe rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
With the debt-ceiling “crisis” looming and government spending this hot summer’s hot topic – particularly “entitlement programs” such as Medicare and Social Security – Boomsday is very appropriate reading. Mr. Buckley spins us one of his Washington, DC fairy tales – complete with politicians, lobbyists, spin-doctors, men of the cloth and the blogosphere – who are all caught up in solving the U.S. Government’s “insolvency”.

Our heroine, Cassandra, is "a morally superior twenty-nine-year-old PR chi
...more
David
This book is all too funny, until you start realizing how true it all sounds (at least, for the first two-thirds of the book). There were lines on nearly every page that had me guffawing, both in a cafe and the library, to the point I had to excuse myself to read in a more solitary environ.

Taking its cue from Swift's A Modest Proposal, this book skewers the entire American political system, culture, and in particular, the Baby Boomers. Buckley grabs the third rail of American politics with both
...more
Howard
This is entertaining enough, but I'm never going to finish it, because it's sort of pointless. He's slick and clever, and if you want to read a funny version of how DC works, a satire that doesn't actually teach you anything new, just a way to pass a few hours, this will do it.

Actually, if I'm stuck in a waiting room, or in an airport, with nothing else to do, no other books and no wireless, and this was handy, I might finish it. Which is really what a book like this is for.
Jen Selinsky
Cassandra Devine is a Washington D.C. spin doctor who does not have much of a life. When she was seventeen, she was accepted into Yale, but her impulsive father spent all her tuition money on a dot-com startup. Forced to serve in the military after graduating from high school, Cassandra spends years of bitter resentment for “baby boomers,” who left the national debt to the younger generation. One night, to get the attention of more readers on her blog, Cassandra decides that senior citizens shou ...more
Eric Abin
I'm the type of person that forces myself to finish books, even if I don't particularly like them. I do this especially when I know that a book is good or important, but the style may be a bit dry or just not particularly to my tastes. But here it is: I couldn't finish Boomsday. Correction: I did not want to finish Boomsday, indeed, I saw no point to finishing Boomsday.

I love American satire, but, to say it frankly, this book was just underwhelming and ridiculous; and not ridiculous in the charm
...more
Judith
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12548986

Funny but not that funny.

The main character is Cassandra Devine, who is a public relations person for a firm that spins. A spin master for evil companies, mostly. She is young, has a unique history in the military, and a chip on her shoulder about her father, who mismanaged what was supposed to be her college funds, thus changing the course of her life.

Cassandra gets a bee in her bonnet about social security.
...more
Dwight Davis
Satire works best when it's told straight (i.e. Network) or when it's driven into the completely absurd (i.e. Idiocracy). Buckley tries too hard to make this a Serious Novel to really spin off into the absurd, so when Boomsday does veer off into crazy-land it just doesn't feel right. The problem with this book is that it has a good plot, and the writing is occasionally really good, and other times just straight up terrible. The book doesn't seem to have an ending though...

Buckley really likes t
...more
Nick
Oct 30, 2014 Nick rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: satire
Maybe it was my aversion to the family last name, but I'd never read anything by the Christopher of the tribe, despite being aware that he wrote the novel upon which was based the delicious Washington satirical film, 'Thank you for Smoking,' Jason Reitman's debut. On a lark I picked up three audio versions of Buckley's novels, and have thoroughly enjoyed them -- perfect auto audio -- with laugh-out-loud one-liners and diabolical skewerings of all manner of pompous and preposterous character type ...more
Bobby
Such an interesting premise, but the story very quickly takes another plotline and plummets into satirical disaster. The ending was pretty non-existent (but welcome).
Matthew Stanley
Buckley is such a skilled and adept satirist. I love pretty much everything he writes. "Boomsday" was a blast to read. Buckley's books feel like living in a comedic version of Aaron Sorkin's the Newsroom. Everyone is cynical, articulate, and great at their job. But Buckley's characters are a little less serious and a lot more funny. Anyways, the plot really resonated with me because I think that solvency of the Ponzi scheme we call Social Security is a real issue that my generation is going to h ...more
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Christopher Buckley graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1976. He shipped out in the Merchant Marine and at age 24 became managing editor of Esquire magazine. At age 29, he became chief speechwriter to the Vice President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. Since 1989 he has been founder and editor-in-chief of Forbes Life magazine.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Good
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“You do this pronoun shift. You may not even be aware of it. If it’s a ‘bold idea,’ it’s ‘ours.’ If it’s a ‘nutty idea,’ it’s ‘yours.’” “Grammar Nazi. Would it be enough to say I want to be president to . . .” “I’m listening.” Randy said, “I was about to say, ‘To give something back,’ but it sounds so pathetic. What it really boils down to is, I’d like to be in charge for just five minutes. Balance the books. Get us out of debt. Be nice to our friends, tell our enemies to fuck off. Clean up the air and water. Throw corporate crooks in the clink. Put the dignity back in government. Fix things. What else . . .? Can’t have Arabs blowing up our buildings, certainly, but I now know that we don’t need to be sending armies everywhere. Among other things, it’s expensive. . ..” “I’m sorry, were you talking? I went to sleep after ‘balance the books.” 0 likes
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