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Boomer1 : A Novel

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"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"--

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"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"--

"Torday is a singular American writer with a big heart and a real love for the world. He has the rare gift for writing dynamic action scenes while being genuinely funny." —George Saunders

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.

Specifications

Publisher
St. Martin's Publishing Group
Book Format
Hardcover
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
352
Author
Daniel Torday
ISBN-13
9781250191793
Publication Date
September, 2018
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.60 x 6.51 x 1.20 Inches
ISBN-10
1250191793

Customer Reviews

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1-4 of 4 reviews

Its music that makes ...

It's music that makes Cassie Black and Mark Brumfeld fall in love in New York. Together they play in a band and also share their lives, but somehow it doesn't really fit. It is especially their professional situation that creates a lot of tension, Mark dreams of writing a novel or at least getting a lecturing position at university. When he proposes to Cassie, this is the necessary point of no return for her and they split up. Cassie is offered a job in a somehow strange start-up media company where she fact checks articles but is always unsure of what she really does. After some more failures, Mark returns to his parents' home in Baltimore. One day, Cassie comes across a video online: her ex published a series of statements against the Baby Boomers who occupy all the good jobs and make life hard for his generation. What was initially meant as a rant due to his personal situation, ends in a violent revolution. Daniel Torday narrates the novel "Boomer1" through the three perspectives of Cassie, Mark and Julia, Mark's mother. This gives him the possibility to show the same scenes from different angels which sometimes also spins the way we as a reader perceive it. Even though there are many humorous and highly comical scenes, there are some underlying truths in the story which give it a lot more depth than it might seem to have on the surface. First of all, I could highly sympathise with Cassie's job at the media company RazorWire. She always wonders what she is doing - and actually many of her colleagues spend their working time playing computer games and watching YouTube videos. It may seem a common prejudice but reality has shown that many of those start-ups have disappeared more quickly than they were founded since they didn't create anything at all. I can also understand Mark's deception and despair. Being highly qualified but having the impression of being of no use on the labour market because all positions are taken by some old people who could easily retire is just frustrating. Waiting for the life to begin is hard to endure. Also their struggle with relationships is something that is well-known in the generation of millennials. Heterosexual as well as homosexual experiences, splitting up getting back together - they dream of their childhood when life was easy and families followed traditional patterns. They know that this is not something they will not get as easily as their parents got it. Somehow their whole life is fragile and nothing is sure anymore. What else could be the logical consequence other than a revolution? Starting it online is simply logical for them. I really liked the novel, it is entertaining and well-written and has a noteworthy message, too.

After his career and m...

After his career and marriage proposal go down in flames and he's left with a boatload of debt, Mark Brumfeld is forced to move into his mom's basement. He takes out his frustrations at being overeducated and underemployed by creating a Youtube series in which he blames baby boomers for all the economic woes faced by millennials. He suggests, no demands, that boomers give up their jobs or millennials will take them from them - by force if necessary. Although Mark is really just venting, a domestic terrorist group forms around his words and runs with them. Boomer1 is told from three perspectives, Mark aka Boomer1, Cassie his exgirlfriend who has achieved success in a job he helped her find, and Mark's mother, once a '60s radical, now a suburban mom. This is a well-written, sometimes funny, often insightful look at what life is like in today's economic reality for both millennials and boomers. As such, no doubt a reader's reaction to this book will reflect to a greater or lesser degree what side of the great generational divide they reside on. It will also, no doubt, make them think and isn't that what good literary fiction is all about. Thanks to Netgalley and St Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review

Boomer1 from Daniel To...

Boomer1 from Daniel Torday is an interesting book in both concept and style. A story about the disconnect between Millennials and Baby Boomers primarily from the perspective of an angry unemployed (and under-employed) millennial. Told from three perspectives but not in their voices, which allows asides such as letting the reader know that something the character thinks about "will never happen." This serves to let each perspective cast a slightly wider net than if told strictly from that character's limited knowledge. Another purpose these perspectives offer are different views of the same events. Whether a conversation or a perception of the other person's intention, we see that what makes sense from one perspective is not necessarily right. Not out of malice or lack of concern but simply because each of us has a limited understanding of even an event in which we are a key player. I found it difficult to really care about the characters, except maybe the mother to some extent. I don't know if that was intended but in some ways I think it helped me to think about what they were thinking and doing rather than pulling for or against them because I liked them or hated them. I think the best way to approach the ideas in this novel, the points of contention between the millennials and the boomers, is not to argue against them if you disagree but to try your best to understand from the perspective of each character, and thus from each group. Save the arguing over the fine points for when you finish. Neither side's overall argument in the novel is perfect nor completely accurate. And our counter-arguments will also be lacking. So take this book as an opportunity to try to understand rather than to point out that they seem entitled or whatever you might think. I'm a boomer and there was certainly a sense of entitlement for us. And millennials initially had a sense of entitlement before some of the disillusionment set in. And, obviously, these are broad generalizations. One local area with great job opportunity is not a counter-argument to the overall job outlook for anyone, including millennials. That is just asinine. In addition to the big picture conflict between generations Boomer1 also makes some interesting points about technology (the internet in particular), relationships in the age of sentence fragments and shortened attention spans, and ethics in both the personal and public spheres. In other words, this novel offers a lot to think about, whether you agree or disagree with how any given character presents the topic. Much of the book takes place in the minds of the characters, not a lot of action. This will be off-putting to some. I even saw one person who didn't like "big words" being used so much. Yes, this is written above a 4th grade level so if "big words" bother you then you might want to avoid it. I didn't really notice until I saw that comment so it wasn't particularly obtrusive but if you only use 3 syllable words or smaller this might trigger you. I gave 4 stars because I value a well-written book that makes me think both while reading and after I have finished. There were times I would have liked things to move a little quicker but, frankly, I don't know if the impact would have been the same without the deliberate pacing and the periodic repetition, usually of essentially lists (though only 2 or 3 items long) of something about or affecting a character. I would recommend this to a reader who enjoys deliberately (or slowly in some people's opinions) paced stories that require the reader to empathize with the characters, even while likely disagreeing with them. You won't want to hang out with any of them, but then, none of them would want to hang out with any of us, so... Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads.

I couldnt continue wi...

I couldn't continue with this book about yet another angry-white-man blaming some group for the fact he is not living the life to which he feels entitled. In this case, the group happens to be baby boomers, but substitute blacks, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, etc. and you can see the hatefulness of his rants. I don't know who the intended audience is for this book, or whether it was intended to be satirical (it wasn't funny), but I'm not spending any more time with it. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

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Electrode, Comp-812502114, DC-prod-az-southcentralus-17, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3, SHA-fe0221a6ef49da0ab2505dfeca6fe7a05293b900, CID-2f1d1f04-81a-16e894d6b6157b, Generated: Wed, 20 Nov 2019 14:53:03 GMT