Charles Petzold


April 10, 2007
New York, N.Y.

Christopher Buckley's new novel Boomsday (Twelve Books, 2007) is a real hoot. The novel takes place a few years in the future, shortly after Boomsday — the day when Baby Boomers start turning 65 and begin sinking the Social Security system. Cassandra Devine — a 20-something blogger still angry at her father for investing her college savings in a dot-com startup — decides to declare war on that pampered generation.

Fueled by Red Bull during her late-night blogging sessions, Cassandra first incites young people to storm gated communities and golf courses, and almost stages a tax revolt before unhatching a much larger and reasoned scheme. (Let's just say it's inspired by Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal.) Cassandra becomes the hero of Generation W — as in their favorite all-purpose dismissal "Whatever" — and causes political turmoil right up to the Oval Office.

Buckley's characters are little more than cardboard cutouts; his real talent is with political satire, goofy names, and equally goofy organizations. The pro-life organization, for example, is the Society for the Protection of Every Ribonucleic Molecule.

Boomsday is a very fun novel and just unnerving enough to make the read thought-provoking as well.