Boomer1by Published 18 Sep 2018
|Publisher||St. Martin's Press|
Bluegrass musician, former journalist and editor, and now PhD in English, Mark Brumfeld has arrived at his thirties with significant debt and no steady prospects. His girlfriend Cassie—a punk bassist in an all-female band, who fled her Midwestern childhood for a new identity—finds work at a “new media” company. When Cassie refuses his marriage proposal, Mark leaves New York and returns to the basement of his childhood home in the Baltimore suburbs.
Desperate and humiliated, Mark begins to post a series of online video monologues that critique Baby Boomers and their powerful hold on the job market. But as his videos go viral, and while Cassie starts to build her career, Mark loses control of what he began—with consequences that ensnare them in a matter of national security.
Told through the perspectives of Mark, Cassie, and Mark’s mother, Julia, a child of the '60s whose life is more conventional than she ever imagined, Boomer1 is timely, suspenseful, and in every line alert to the siren song of endless opportunity that beckons and beguiles all of us.
I enjoyed this a lot - just finished it now - at 3am- with no idea where it was headed.
Mark - Cassie - Julia - each have a voice in this fascinating- relevant and frightening look at people ‘my age’ - 60’s retirement age -
and my daughter’s age - mid 30’s -
and the contribution our grandparents made who came from the War—
It’s a terrific book ....lots to engage in — great storytelling. Themes - locations and daily life for these folks are tied together brilliantly:
- who has them?
- who doesn’t?
- social security?
- Education/ music/ girlband/ bandmates/ roommates/ lovers/relationships/success/ failure/ personal self worth/disappointments/ fear/ depression & loneliness/ hearing loss/ a marriage proposal turned down/ educated adult moving back home in parents basement/ East Coast..New York City/ West Coast... San Francisco...
...More surprises... with great characters to spend time with!!!!
This is a wonderful - very well written enjoyable novel. I must read Daniel Torday’s first novel. I have a copy of the hardcopy - and will look forward to it now for sure.
Thank you St. Martin’s Press, Netgalley, and Daniel Torday! (Love the feeling of intimacy in your writing)
What to say about Boomer1? The story focuses on the apparent generational divide between baby boomers and millennials. Mark has tried to make it as an academic and journalist in New York, but he’s ended up back in his parents’ basement in the Midwest. He reinvents himself as a raging millennial, posting video diatribes about how it’s time for baby boomers to cede their place to millennials, ending each diatribe with “boom boom”. Meanwhile, Mark’s ex-girlfriend Cassie is climbing the ranks of a new media company and his mother is becoming an inward looking recluse as her hearing deteriorates. I thought Boomer1 was well written and it kept me reading, but I ended up feeling somewhat dissatisfied. It felt like a polemic but I’m not sure what the lesson was. I know I wasn’t necessarily meant to warm up to these characters, but I found myself not caring for them much at all. And the end was odd. Something big happens but we never circle back to get Mark’s perspective. Or maybe that’s the point. Who knows! The + in my rating reflects the good writing. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
Boomer1 is a cautionary tale in the internet era. I loved the concept of this book, but I was not as fond of the implementation. Torday’s ideas have stayed with me since I finished the book a while ago, but I could not get past the randomness of portions of the story. Daniel Torday is a fantastic writer with a lot to say and some interesting ideas and thoughts for those who listen. However, I think the book should have followed a straighter path and not tried to include enough for two books into only one novel.
Daniel Torday’s Boomer1 is a very good novel that focuses on what people do to maintain relationships and to stick to their ideals, even in the face of hypocrisy. Even with some flaws, Torday’s ideas are genuine and hold important questions for the current generation. I enjoyed Boomer1 and will definitely recommend it.
Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Daniel Torday for the advanced copy for review.
Full review can be found here: https://paulspicks.blog/2018/04/19/bo...
Please check out all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog
Thank you to St. Martin's Press, the author, and NetGalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for my candid review.
Wow! Tough book to review.
I actually hated the book at first because it was an unadulterated attack on Baby Boomers and all that they have accomplished. And a call to arms for them to all retire, so that Millenials can take the good jobs.
At that point in the book---I wanted to rip through the pages and smack the sh%& out of the characters for being whiney babies and not understanding that nothing was handed to the Baby Boomers---we worked hard for it.
But then it started to point out some of the crazy social, technological, and societal things that the Millenials are doing. And so it became a reflection on the struggles from both generations. And the practical decisions that were made by some of the most idealistic and artistic members of each generation.
It pointed out the scope and the influence that instant information technology can have---both for good and for very,very bad. One line resonated with me...."Technology was addictive when it was working, but when technology wasn't working, it was more addictive than heroin."
So, it would be a great book for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millenials all to read. It actually became very thought-provoking when the whole story unfolded.
I would give this book high marks. Read it--it will make you think about society's evolution.