Christopher Buckley - Boomsday

Books Reviews Christopher Buckley
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Christopher Buckley - Boomsday

Public-relations reps as comic heroes?

The latest satirical musings of Christopher Buckley (Thank You for Smoking) introduce 29-year-old Cassandra Devine. She’s taking on the impending economic perfect storm created when the first of the Baby Boomers retires, beginning the painful process of bankrupting Social Security.

Fuming from patriarchal woes, Devine—a looker, powerhouse blogger, and partner at Tucker Strategic Communications—suggests “Voluntary Transitioning.” It’s the best euphemism for assisted suicide, ever. VT comes replete with incentives backed by her sometimes-lover, Senator Randolph K. “Randy” Jepperson.

The effortlessly witty Buckley knows his building blocks—D.C.-skewering, lampoonable archetypes (conflicted pro-lifer, anyone?), silly acronym-building (ABBA!) and plot twists—but this cleverness regrettably comes at the expense of any fully fleshed-out characters. Still, with such tangible detail and so many ideas, Boomsday achieves the benchmark of good satire, creating a world of ideas so ridiculous—and people so recognizable—that we mistake it for our own. Almost.