Christopher Buckley has taken an idea similar to that found in Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, but in
this case the older generation is being sacrificed instead of the children. The novel relates the story of
Cassandra Devine whose life went haywire after she could not attend Yale University because her father spent her
education money on his company. After a disastrous stint in the armed services, she gets a job in a PR firm by day
and by night blogs to bring attention to the economic calamities caused by the boomers who are beginning to retire
and put tremendous strains on the American economy.
The reader follows the ups and downs of Devine as she continues to suggest that older people be given a tax
break if they will "voluntary transition" at the age of seventy with ever bigger tax breaks at age of sixty-five.
Just like Swift, Devine is not really serious about this proposal - she simply wants to get the Congress to
wake up and do something about the situation.
What follows are some of the funniest situation since the Mary Hartman, Mart Hartman soap opera of the
’70s. Even though the scenes are funny and outrageous, we readers get the idea that this just may be the way it
The novel is filled with the f word and many other reference to sex acts, but again, is this kind of language
beneath our leaders when they are not in the public eye. Normally, I would think the novel carries these events a
little too long, but the reader is willing to listen because he knows some good lines are coming up. Check out the
irony in the closing chapter. I read the novel on a trip out of town and it make the trip seems like a Sunday
drive. The reading was superb - almost like a play script.