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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  8,568 Ratings  ·  1,014 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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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
Aug 23, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookmooched
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
Nov 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Manny by: Jordan
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
Jun 09, 2008 rated it liked it
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
May 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Let's start by saying this…Christopher Buckley is a fucking genius! His books make me laugh in my brain. It's different than laughing out loud at obvious funnies. It's not Will Ferrell funny. It's more George Carlin funny. It's just the way he distorts and exaggerates the real world to show us just how ridiculous the real world is.

In "Boomsday" Buckley creates a hot, blonde, former military, PR crusader with a predilection for Ayn Rand in Cassandra Devine. During the day she helps her boss cre
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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
Monotony Boy
Jun 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
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.
D.L. Morrese
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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,

May 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Neil Pittman
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Kelly Fugate
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
LOL Political satire! Premise of a decade ago seemed over-the-top; however, considering our looming presidential election, ridiculously familiar. I suggest you get a copy and read it this weekend. After all, laughter is the best medicine and I anticipate we're all going to need a big dose on Wednesday. Intra-generational fun for the family - in case your Thanksgiving dinner "discussions" need punching-up.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Some of the most laugh out loud funny satire I've ever read.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, politics
By day, Cass Devine is a public relations specialist who labors to ensure her clients' sh-tuff doesn't stink. By night, she's a tax revolutionary, stirring the pot -- blogging furiously and urging young people to take to the streets and protest against the social security crisis. In only a couple of years, Social Security will be bankrupt -- despite DC's usual solution of raising taxes on under-thirties even more. Cassandra's national movement lands her in jail, and turns on senator into a presi ...more
John Marshall
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Midway through this book, a character references "A Modest Proposal", Jonathan Swift's well-known satire about how to solve the issues of poverty in Ireland by selling Irish children as food. The character referencing it does so to explain that an outlandish idea, intended as satire, can turn thoughts to the problem when they ask themselves why they were so outraged.

It's a tricky comparison to make, though, because though this book alleges to have similar ends, there are a number of things it la
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 07, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jan 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Feb 11, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
As an audio book, I wasn't a fan of Janeane Garofalo's style. A lot of her character voices were just speaking louder.

As a book, I loved this one! First Buckley book I've read and I really like his style of writing. Boomsday is political satire based on the baby boomers retirement and the inevitable depletion of Social Security.

Cassandra Devine, labeled as a morally superior PR chick, leads the way in renouncing baby boomers squandering of Social Security. It starts innocently enough with protes
Dec 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Mr. Buckley's scathing insightful satire burns brightly with "Boomsday", a tale farcical enough to be hilarious, yet imbued with an element of truth that almost makes it seem credible. A young lady, screwed over by her father when he spends her Yale fund on a dot-com he was starting, gets royally peeved and makes a decade-long journey into exposing the very flawed Social Security Administration by first starting a blog, then inciting riots against baby boomers in golf courses, then acting as a c ...more
Dec 04, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kept me very interested. Witty and clever
Jun 20, 2010 rated it liked it
It was a fun read, but the ending was truncated, as if the editor told the author "just wrap it up in an epilogue and be done".
Logophile (Heather)
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really well read, one of my favorite narrations ever. Janeane Garofalo gets 5 stars, the book itself gets 3 so I rounded to 4.
Oct 03, 2008 rated it did not like it
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).
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Aiossa's Senior 5...: Luis Gallardo Book Review #4 1 3 Dec 18, 2012 08:13PM  
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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.” 1 likes
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