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Boomsday by Christopher Buckley July 2, 2007

Posted by a Wristfister in Books, Fiction, Humor, Political, Satire.
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Published by Twelve, an imprint of Warner Books, Inc. [2007], hardcover, 318 pages. Reviewed by Bowie.

Synopsis(from the Publisher): 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 seeking the presidency.” With the help of Washington’s greatest spin doctor, the blogger and the politician try to ride the issue of euthanasia for Boomers (called “transitioning”) all the way to the White House, over the objections of the Religious Right, and of course, the Baby Boomers, who are deeply offended by demonstrations on the golf courses of their retirement resorts.

Review:

“Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.” — Herbert Hoover

Christopher Buckley (author of “Thank You For Smoking”) is a satirist that delivers witty works that are bitingly funny. This book is no different. While not laugh-out-loud-rolling-on-the-floor-funny, Boomsday is ridiculous enough to be an amusing political satire. What I found profoundly intriguing was not the fiction, but, to use Stephen Colbert’s word, the “truthiness” of the entire plot. Sometimes, the best satirists are the ones who don’t make anything up. They simply say what no one else is willing to mention. In this case it is the national debt and the looming 800-pound gorilla in the room that is the future solvency of America’s Social Security system. The book is fast-paced, very easy to read, and highly entertaining. I highly recommend it.

Below is an excerpt from Prologue:

‘Thank you, Wendy Wong in Washington, for that report on the deteriorating economic situation.

‘In Florida today, another attack on a gated community by youths protesting the recent hike in the Social Security payroll tax.

‘Several hundred people in the twenties stormed the gates of a retirement community in the early hours this morning. Residents were assaulted as they played golf. Demonstrators seized carts and drove them into water hazards and bunkers…

‘A maintenance worker at the golf course said it might be, quote, weeks before residents were able to play golf.

‘In other news today, the vice-president has shot yet another lawyer, this time, he says, in self-defense…”

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