No, that’s not true. I can totally discuss it. This is the first of my book club‘s picks that I have enjoyed so thoroughly, and that includes the one that I picked to read!
I think I loved this book so much because it was so relevant to life right now and at just the right level of ridiculousness where I was like, “Yeah, I could see this actually happening, but I’m glad it won’t. It won’t, right?”
The premise is simple: the economy is where it is right now, Social Security is where it is right now, foreign affairs are rather crazier than they are right now, and Generation X and the Millennials are pissed. Especially when the government decides that the best way to make Social Security solvent is to increase the tax by 30 percent for people under 30. Way to go, government. Our protagonist, Cassandra Devine, comes up with an even better plan to fix Social Security — encouraging Baby Boomers to commit suicide at age 70. Oh, yes, you read that right. It’s a “meta-issue,” but with her spin-doctor job and her prolific blog following, not to mention the government’s wish to stop this thing in its tracks, things start to get a liiiiittle out of hand. But it’s all delightful.
My favorite thing about this whole book is how well the characters are written. Buckley certainly included some stereotypical characters — the twenty-something blogger, the spin doctor, the old-money politician — but he didn’t let them stay flat and he definitely gave them their own voices. You can tell when Cassandra is excited because she “can’t even discuss it,” you can sympathize with the plight of a man of God as he has to start selling off the nunciature’s Mercedeses (that’s a word today, okay?) to pay blackmail to some Russian prostitutes. Love it.
On an only slightly related note, Buckley also wrote Thank You For Smoking, which was made into an excellent movie that you should go watch, immediately, if only to hear the best line ever written in a movie: “The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese!” I’m happy just thinking about it, and must now go track this book down.
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Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.