Thursday, June 7, 2007
Boomsday by Christopher Buckley
This is one of the best political satires I've ever read. Okay, it's also one of the few political satires I've ever read. But I also get a kick out of reading Swift's A Modest Proposal.
Janeane Barofalo read this one for Hachette Audio and did a wonderful job. The main character, Cassandra Devine was the ideal high school student who earned a spot in the freshman class at Yale. Then she finds out her father spent her 529 on his Internet start-up business. So she has to go to the army where she ends up in Bosnia in public relations. Enter Randolph Jepperson (the name kills me) who visits the war torn country for a "fact-finding tour" and ends up getting them both blown up in a mine field. He loses part of his leg. She loses her reputation because the rumor is that she was driving. And that they were "busy" in the minefield. They weren't. Through tricks and turns, she ends up working at a PR firm in DC and eventually dating and leading the presidential campaign for Jepperson. She also is Cassandra, one of the top political bloggers. She leads a revolt encouraging "voluntary transitioning." Old people kill themselves at age 70 to get tax breaks and solve the country's social security debt. It works. It's hilarious. The country takes to the idea.
Cassandra is hilarious. I laughed and couldn't help telling people about this one. I'm not sure if high school students would enjoy it though unless they know a lot about our government. Most of the satire would slip right over their innocent heads. But this is definitely going on the recommended reading list for AP American History!