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Boomsday (2007)

von Christopher Buckley

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1,1865512,560 (3.64)43
Cassandra Devine, a charismatic 29-year-old blogger incites massive political turmoil when, outraged over mounting Social Security debt, she politely suggests that Baby Boomers be given government incentives to kill themselves by age 75. Her modest proposal catches fire with millions of her outraged peers ("Generation Whatever") and an ambitious Senator seeking to gain the youth vote in his presidential campaign. With the help of Washington's greatest spin doctor, the blogger and the politician try to ride the issue of euthanasia for Boomers (they call it "Transitioning") all the way to the White House, over the forceful objections of the Religious Right and, of course, Baby Boomers, who are deeply offended by demonstrations on the golf courses of their retirement resorts.… (mehr)
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    Die Entbehrlichen von Ninni Holmqvist (trav)
    trav: It's a totally different tone and voice, but the theme and subject matter seem to do well within the same discussions.
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3.3 stars
Now is not a good time for me to read anything political/Washington DC based. It's just too soon.
Too soon. ( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
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. She believes that social security is doomed, that it is destined to last only a matter of months, because so few young people are essentially supporting the baby boomer generation.

"Boomsday" is the term used to describe the first day that a baby boomer goes on social security. Cassandra buys into the belief that current earners will have to pay a lot more to keep the baby boomers in high style. She further believes that baby boomers have done nothing all these years, are just a drain on the system. Any system.

So she comes up with a plan. An outrageous plan. To solve the social security crisis that she believes is barking at the door. Because of her skill with spin and with the help of a member of congress who has a gift for politics (again, spin), she has a surprising amount of success.

So that's the basic story, more or less. There are many complicating factors and persons, and a lot of wit. Sarcasm, really. The whole story is a joke, in a way.

It is well written and is funny but as a member of that famed baby boomer generation, I took some offense to its characterization here. Further, I was annoyed by the accepted belief that social security won't last out the year. The Social Security Administration Trust Report tells us that full benefits are assured up to about 2033. If all continues as is, some reduction in benefits or raise in taxes will be needed by then. Needless to say, Congress has been reluctant to take this on because it is such a hot potato.

I had difficulty overcoming the constant attack on the baby boomers. As if any other generation in recent years has done anything to be especially proud of. I believe that we become what is asked of us. Different circumstances build different characters. So I'll be honest and say that I was personally offended by many of the ideas in here. I also found many of the situations just a little over the top. A kind of humor that gets tiring, at least to me. I believe, though, that many others will enjoy this work. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Christopher Buckley, for me, sometimes hits his mark and sometimes really doesn't. This time he really did. Cassandra Devine, a 29 year old PR hack with a rich personal past and a huge blog following, leads her peers on a crusade against those of my age - the boomers. Tax incentives for those boomers who agree to suicide at age 72 ("volunteer transitioning") is just one of her good (and popular) ideas. It's a great story that is so close to possible that it really is funny. ( )
  susandennis | Jun 5, 2020 |
A millennial blogger, Cassandra Devine, rises to fame by raging against the nation’s Social Security debt. (“Boomsday” refers to the day when Baby Boomers start retiring and drawing upon their social security benefits, which will be funded by the millennial generation.) Her modest proposal*: offer Boomers an incentive to kill themselves at 70, thus reducing the financial drain of our nation’s social safety net. The fun of the novel is watching how this outrageous proposal gradually gains traction through the efforts of a presidential hopeful courting the youth vote and the power of social media, aided by corrupt religious leaders, greedy professional associations, and unethical PR firms.

(*A Modest Proposal was a political satire penned by Jonathan Swift back in 1730 or so, advocating killing/eating babies as a way of addressing overpopulation and food shortages all at once.)

The trick that successful political satire has to pull off is to present distasteful people making distasteful choices, but couched in enough genuine humor to keep you reading, because few readers possess the level of masochism required to enjoy being bludgeoned by malice, hypocracy, and idiocy chapter after chapter. A lot of authors don’t get this, but Christopher Buckley has yet to disappoint me. One way Buckley achieves this by creating main characters that at least marginally sympathetic. Cassandra may be misguided but her passion is real and earnest. The corrupt preacher may be morally compromised, but his decent down the slippery slope was triggered by an event that most of us would find morally challenging. The politician’s ambition may be authentic, but he genuinely believes that he is destined to be our nation’s next Kennedy. Additionally, Buckley litters the tale with enough outrageous politically incorrect subplots and absurd drop-ins to ensure that the smile never leaves your face for long.

Thoroughly recommend Boomsday to anyone with a sense of humor and the good sense to appreciate quality political satire when they encounter it. ( )
  Dorritt | Mar 8, 2020 |
-- Christopher Buckley has a wicked sense of humor. While reading BOOMSDAY I laughed out loud several times. That Buckley knows how politicians, lobbyists, & other Washington insiders think is evident in this novel. He is the son of William, Jr. -- ( )
  MinaIsham | Feb 19, 2019 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Christopher BuckleyHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Garofalo, JaneaneErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Cassandra Devine, a charismatic 29-year-old blogger incites massive political turmoil when, outraged over mounting Social Security debt, she politely suggests that Baby Boomers be given government incentives to kill themselves by age 75. Her modest proposal catches fire with millions of her outraged peers ("Generation Whatever") and an ambitious Senator seeking to gain the youth vote in his presidential campaign. With the help of Washington's greatest spin doctor, the blogger and the politician try to ride the issue of euthanasia for Boomers (they call it "Transitioning") all the way to the White House, over the forceful objections of the Religious Right and, of course, Baby Boomers, who are deeply offended by demonstrations on the golf courses of their retirement resorts.

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