Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Boomer1” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.15  ·  Rating details ·  396 ratings  ·  130 reviews
Bluegrass musician, former journalist and editor, and now PhD in English, Mark Brumfeld has arrived at his thirties with significant debt and no steady prospects. His girlfriend Cassie—a punk bassist in an all-female band, who fled her Midwestern childhood for a new identity—finds work at a “new media” company. When Cassie refuses his marriage proposal, Mark leaves New Yor ...more
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Boomer1, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Boomer1

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  396 ratings  ·  130 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Boomer1
Larry H
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'm between 3 and 3.5 stars.

A fascinating, timely, and thought-provoking meditation on the craziness of our internet-obsessed culture, the generational divide between Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, and just how far our lives can drift from what we've planned, Daniel Torday's Boomer1 is both funny and eerily prescient.

Mark is a bluegrass musician, a journalist and editor, and a student completing his PhD in English. He hopes to find fame as an insightful political writer, althou
Elyse  Walters
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this a lot - just finished it now - at 3am- with no idea where it was headed.
Mark - Cassie - Julia - each have a voice in this fascinating- relevant and frightening look at people ‘my age’ - 60’s retirement age -
and my daughter’s age - mid 30’s -
and the contribution our grandparents made who came from the War—

It’s a terrific book ....lots to engage in — great storytelling. Themes - locations and daily life for these folks are tied together brilliantly:
- Jobs-
- who has them?
- who does
Sometimes a reader and a novel just don't mesh.

This slow going look at millennial issues with the baby boomer generation just did not work for me.

While I had no issue with the writing style itself, told from three perspectives, I never connected with the characters enough to care about them or their relationships, and the music subplot fell flat for me.

Thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
3+ stars

What to say about Boomer1? The story focuses on the apparent generational divide between baby boomers and millennials. Mark has tried to make it as an academic and journalist in New York, but he’s ended up back in his parents’ basement in the Midwest. He reinvents himself as a raging millennial, posting video diatribes about how it’s time for baby boomers to cede their place to millennials, ending each diatribe with “boom boom”. Meanwhile, Mark’s ex-girlfriend Cassie is climbing the rank
St. Martins Press comped me this copy, and I thank them.

So, I can tell you this story is about two young adults, Cassie from Ohio who changed her name before moving to New York City, and Mark, who as a side job plays in a band with Cassie and loves her very much. Cassie won't marry him, because she really prefers women, although Mark is clueless. They both have poorly paying day jobs and are barely subsisting, and Mark blames his lack of success on the Baby Boomer generation as a whole, because

”I can't get no satisfaction, I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no”

-- (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones, Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger

Boy meets girl. Boy lives with girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy proposes to girl. Girl walks away. Boy loses job. Boy moves home with parents. Boy becomes Boomer1 online. Boy rants online about baby boomers having “all the jobs.” Boy incites radica
Cindy Burnett
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Boomer1 is a cautionary tale in the internet era. I loved the concept of this book, but I was not as fond of the implementation. Torday’s ideas have stayed with me since I finished the book a while ago, but I could not get past the randomness of portions of the story. Daniel Torday is a fantastic writer with a lot to say and some interesting ideas and thoughts for those who listen. However, I think the book should have followed a straighter path and not tried to include enough for two books into ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Daniel Torday’s Boomer1 is a very good novel that focuses on what people do to maintain relationships and to stick to their ideals, even in the face of hypocrisy. Even with some flaws, Torday’s ideas are genuine and hold important questions for the current generation. I enjoyed Boomer1 and will definitely recommend it.

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Daniel Torday for the advanced copy for review.

Full review can be found here:

Please check o
Amy Gennaro
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to St. Martin's Press, the author, and NetGalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for my candid review.

Wow! Tough book to review.

I actually hated the book at first because it was an unadulterated attack on Baby Boomers and all that they have accomplished. And a call to arms for them to all retire, so that Millenials can take the good jobs.
At that point in the book---I wanted to rip through the pages and smack the sh%& out of the characters for being whiney babies and not understandi
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a proud Boomer who intends to work ‘til I drop, Boomer1 was—well, a mite unsettling. As it is intended to be. Putting myself in the head of a disgruntled millennial who blames the Baby Boomers for the poor job market took some getting used to. But once I bought into the concept, I thought the book was brilliant.

It’s narrated from three perspectives—Mark Brumfeld, whose life isn’t turning out the way he thought it would, his love interest Cassie, a bluegrass bassist who discovers a hidden tale
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Boomer1 is partly narrated by Mark, a deeply in debt thirty-something year old, who feels he deserves to have the career and money he wants and since he can't have that, he decides to incite a revolution to make Baby Boomers give up their jobs, to those younger than them. Actually, Mark is so unmotivated to achieve anything, that the incitement happens despite himself. He writes the words and then other people living off their parents, in their basements, take up the cause and make it bigger.

Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had trouble getting into this book but once in, I really enjoyed it. As one of the Baby Boomer generation, I tired of the "blame-game" that Mark raged about. We grew up with a work ethic and deserved the jobs we got based on merit. We retire when we are able to (fortunately I am)! So I had to re-adjust my thinking a little to see through his eyes. I have children his age so I understand the frustration of being over-educated and unable to find suitable employment. I also understand the frustra ...more
Barbara Hall
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Four words come to mind in thinking about Daniel Torday's "Boomer1": I was knocked out!!

Boomer1 tells the story of Mark Brumfeld, an unemployed writer and would-be academic who is forced to move back to his parent's home. He begins a series of video rants against Baby Boomers that go viral and his life is upended in unexpected ways.

Written in 10 different parts, each featuring either Mark, his ex girlfriend Cassie or his mother, Julia, Torday's stunning writing is smart, funny and drives an ener
Janice Lombardo
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I sit here with 7 actual pages of notes on this book. I guess I could write a book on this book. I didn't care for the characters although they were excellently portrayed. There were many times when I frankly did not understand where anyone was coming from. The story was much better during the parts that were current action. I had to force myself to read some of the long past stories and repetitive words. The ending was, to me, depressing.

Three stars because the basic idea of this book is super
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
via my blog:
'They were baby boomers. They had and they had and they had, as if that was the very condition of their own existance- having, owning, getting, living out Bellow’s I want, I want, I want- while he and his generation had not. They, too, wanted plenty, but they did not have.'

For Mark Brumfeld his talents as a Bluegrass musician, journalist, and now holding a PhD in English- life hasn't taken him to the places his youthful dreams promised. Unlike t
Jessica Mcbee
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow. I didn't know what to expect, but this novel was intense. You could feel the frustration of the Boomer Boomers in Mark's sections. Very interesting take on the millennial vs. baby boomer generations. Definitely an interesting read that makes you think. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I was born solidly in mid-Baby Boom. This book could be described as an anti-Boomer manifesto. That said, I can't express how much I loved reading it.

Yes, as some other Goodreads reviewers have pointed out, the three main characters are shallow. At times I wanted to slap each of them silly over the choices they made. But they are not portrayed in a shallow fashion. It is clear that each -- of whatever age, gender or sexual orientation -- is fairly confused at the various turns o
Patricia Romero
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the premise of this book. Why are so many millennials moving home and not being able to find jobs? Why are these people so angry at baby boomers?

Told through the eyes of Mark,Cassie and Mark's mother we have voices of all generations.

One thing that bothered me was the huge words over and over again. Not necessary. I felt like a lot of this should have been edited better as Mark comes off as out of touch and entitled. Cassie is more go with the flow and Julia certainly doesn't want her
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I couldn't continue with this book about yet another angry-white-man blaming some group for the fact he is not living the life to which he feels entitled. In this case, the group happens to be baby boomers, but substitute blacks, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, etc. and you can see the hatefulness of his rants. I don't know who the intended audience is for this book, or whether it was intended to be satirical (it wasn't funny), but I'm not spending any more time with it. I received a free copy of thi ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received an advanced copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I enjoyed this story. I am in the age range of the younger group of characters in this novel and have seen many battles played out between generations. I think this book had an interesting take on these differences.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads, netgalley
3.5 stars

This was one odd little book and I think it will take quite some time for me to fully formulate my thoughts. Boomer1 has a very unique premise and that was what drew me to the novel. Mark Brumfeld enters his thirties with no real prospects, as his girlfriend Cassie has just refused his proposal of marriage and dumped him. He is out of work, in debt, and has to move back in with his parents. It occurs to him one day that the reason there are no jobs for millennials is because the baby bo
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
After his career and marriage proposal go down in flames and he's left with a boatload of debt, Mark Brumfeld is forced to move into his mom's basement. He takes out his frustrations at being overeducated and underemployed by creating a Youtube series in which he blames baby boomers for all the economic woes faced by millennials. He suggests, no demands, that boomers give up their jobs or millennials will take them from them - by force if necessary. Although Mark is really just venting, a domest ...more
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
As one of the culpable Baby Boomers described in this story, I really enjoyed this book about the frustrations and trials for the millennial left in our wake. Always a subject worth debating that no one ever wins.
Mark tries so hard to succeed but fails miserably and embarrassingly at every turn. His friend (wish girlfriend) Cassie, on the other hand, is wildly successful in any venture she makes a small effort with. The perspective of Mark’s mother, Julia, adds another dimension to the personali
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't want to out this book down. Well written by closely examining 3 characters and how their lives were interwoven. I also found this book to be topical. As a millennial myself the sentiment hit close to home. ...more
Jason Pettus
2020 reads, #13. DID NOT FINISH. This Novel Of Right Now starts out great, setting up what looks like is going to be a black comedy about a Millennial Brooklyn intellectual who has a nervous breakdown after a series of hipster disasters (his alt-country girlfriend turns down his marriage proposal, the analytical essay he works on for six months gets no notice in the obscure lit journal where it's published, etc), decides in his delirium that everything is the fault of Baby Boomers, moves back in ...more
miss.mesmerized mesmerized
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s music that makes Cassie Black and Mark Brumfeld fall in love in New York. Together they play in a band and also share their lives, but somehow it doesn’t really fit. It is especially their professional situation that creates a lot of tension, Mark dreams of writing a novel or at least getting a lecturing position at university. When he proposes to Cassie, this is the necessary point of no return for her and they split up. Cassie is offered a job in a somehow strange start-up media company w ...more
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
My review for this novel was published in the July 1, 2018, edition of Library Journal:

In his provocative second novel (after The Last Flight of Poxl West), Torday takes the idea of generational warfare a step further. When 31-year-old Mark Brumfeld—overeducated, underemployed, and freshly rejected by his bandmate and would-be fiancée Cassie—moves back to his parents' house in Baltimore to lick his wounds, he channels his frustration into a series of furious "Boomer Missives" under the moniker B
Alexandra Robbins
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book packs a lot in one read. I usually don't give 5 stars to a book in which the characters are hard to root for (that was intended, I think), but the story is so original and so many sentences are so exquisitely written that Boomer1 deserves more recognition.

I particularly like the wry generational observations. "It wasn't easy after twenty-two years of school, growing inured to the rules of grammar and typography, and years of magazine editing in between, growing more meticulous than he
James Beggarly
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Exciting book about a young man, Mark, who can’t make it in the world and starts ranting on the Internet, which starts a revolution that quickly grows out of his control. Sharp, funny and heartbreaking as we see the story told through Mark, his ex girlfriend and his mother.
Tonstant Weader
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Cassie Black and Mark Brumfeld are two of the three main characters through whom we experience the story in Boomer1. The other is Mark’s mother Julia. All three pursued a musical career and came up short in different ways. Mark dreamed of the academic life, writing articles and teaching, a distinguished professor. Sadly, he was born too late, well after the commodification of higher education that replaced tenured positions with adjunct professors, academic serfs who would earn more as a barista ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hark
  • Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America
  • Lake Success
  • Godsend
  • Attack Surface
  • Writers & Lovers
  • The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind
  • The Cactus League
  • When We Were Vikings
  • The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design
  • Cleanness
  • Dovetail
  • Ohio
  • The Grace Kelly Dress
  • The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power
  • Rusty Brown
  • Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back
  • Wild Milk
See similar books…
Daniel Torday is a two-time National Jewish Book Book Award recipient and winner of the 2017 Sami Rohr Choice Award for THE LAST FLIGHT OF POXL WEST. Torday's work has appeared in Conjunctions, The New York Times, Paris Review Daily, Tin House, and on NPR, and has been honored in both the Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays series. He is the Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Ma ...more

Related Articles

  Mateo Askaripour is a Brooklyn-based writer whose debut novel, Black Buck—which Colson Whitehead calls a “mesmerizing novel, executing a high...
68 likes · 7 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Mark's definition of work was more like: doing a thing you love so much, with such artful labor and natural talent, it doesn't matter how much you get paid for that work, or by whom. Or if you get paid at all, even.” 0 likes
“The way smelling decaying leaves for the first time in fall might evoke previous falls, childhood falls, a synaptic palimpsest of trick-or-treatings, the collapsing of time across years into the evocation of memory.” 0 likes
More quotes…