Sunday, May 11, 2008

Boomsday

Boomsday, by Christopher Buckley
$11.19 in the Hansisgreat Gift Shop
ISBN: 0446697974
This is an hilarious and timely novel by the esteemed author of Thank You For Smoking. Not only is it very funny and creative, but it's filled with genuinely insightful political satire.
Cassandra, our young heroine, has been screwed by her parents and their entire generation. She's accepted to Yale only to find that her father has squandered her college fund on an expensive private jet. To pay for school, she joins the army and is soon stationed in Bosnia. 
When a visiting senator insists that she take him on a tour of the local town, their jeep drives across a landmine and the two are seriously injured. Cassandra is forced out of the army in disgrace for allowing the visiting official to be injured while under her protection. The senator, a controversial figure named Randy Jepperson, is considered a national hero after the injuries he sustains while in Cassandra's care.
Feeling guilty for ruining her military career, he hires her to work for his public relations firm. This is where it starts to get interesting.
Cassandra is a blogger. When she suggests on her website that young people bomb country clubs to protest the government's misuse of Social Security money, she's shocked to find that a few indeed do just that. She's soon proposing even more dramatic action: that Baby Boomers should have to commit suicide at age 75. In exchange, they'll be given tax incentives and bonus retirement payments.
Her controversial plan soon thrusts Cassandra, and Senator Jepperson, into the national spotlight. Of course, she doesn't really want Baby Boomers to kill 
themselves: it's just a ploy to bring attention to the important issue of the generation gap and the American economy.
Most of the book's humor is derived from politicians who feign indignant over Cassandra's seemingly ridiculous plan. As the public realizes that this plan, though absurd, is the most sensible idea for balancing the social security budget proposed to date, they start to turn around on the issue.
This novel is always light and funny, but with a hidden agenda: there's always a dark purpose behind the laughter. The story had me hooked within a few pages, and was engaging to the end.
Highly recommended if you're looking for some comedy during an election year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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