Michelle's Reviews > Boomsday

Boomsday by Christopher Buckley
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Aug 21, 2012

it was amazing

Boomsday is a highly entertaining story about what might happen when the Baby Boomers begin to retire and bankrupt Social Security. The main protagonist, Cassandra, is a 29-year-old PR flack with a cynical (and popular) blog and a Red Bull habit, joined in protagonistness by her mentor Terry and a politician named Randy. There's a cast of memorable supporting characters including her sleazy father, a wheeling-dealing southern minister, a rich Catholic priest, the foul-mouthed President of the US, and his slimy sidekick Bucky. The characters are memorable enough to mostly keep straight, though from time to time I forgot who one or another person was, like Arthur Clumm, the euthanizing nurse who showed up just infrequently enough (or without enough context) to be confusing.

The first half of the book, setting up Cassandra's back story and the setting of conflict between the "Whatever" generation and the "Un-Greatest" generation moves quickly and his highly amusing. Through Cassandra's proposal of "Voluntary Transitioning" - that senior citizens would elect suicide at age 70 in exchange for tax breaks, thereby making the government solvent - the book is engaging, fast-paced, and funny. After Randy champions the idea and begins wheeling and dealing, the book bogs down, notably with descriptions of a blue-ribbon commission appointed to study the proposal. The book picks up towards the end, as the presidential election heats up with most of the minor characters involved in one way or another. It does not end where I would have anticipated; the ending is satisfying.

Overall an excellent, light, fast read. Though published in 2007, the book will be timely for a number of years to come, particularly in light of continued economic woes.
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