cover image Boomsday


Christopher Buckley, , read by Janeane Garofalo. . Hachette Audio, $39.98 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-60024-002-7

Despite the technicality of her birth at the tail end of the baby boom in 1964, comedian and actress Janeane Garofalo embodies a unique combination of edge and sincerity perfect for Buckley’s tale of Generation X activism. At 29, Washington “PR chick” Cassandra Devine launches a grassroots entitlement reform movement but quickly determines that only shock can break through people’s fog of apathy, so she floats a plan for baby boomer suicide—dubbed “voluntary transitioning”—as a means to preserve Social Security for future generations. Garofalo effectively portrays Cassandra’s angst amid the absurd scenario of her macabre treatise—inspired by Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal —entering the public policy mainstream. Garofalo also demonstrates tremendous vocal range with male characters, especially prolife leader Rev. Gideon Payne and Cassandra’s love interest and ally Sen. Randolph K. Jefferson. Yet, like his protagonist, Buckley seems compelled to address the topic at hand only through the boldest possible strokes of the satirical brush. Garofalo certainly does the colorful characters justice, but listeners may ultimately feel weighed down by the tone and scope of the overall experience. Simultaneous release with the Twelve hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 26). (May)