Christopher Buckley Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley

An interview with Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley shows his humor while interviewing himself about Boomsday which is set in the near future when a charismatic 29-year-old blogger, and member of Generation Whatever, incites massive cultural warfare when she politely suggests that Baby Boomers be given government incentives to kill themselves by age 75.

So, what was the inspiration for your new novel, BOOMSDAY?
Washington Mutual.

I’m sorry?
The bank that owns my house.

Oh. Well, but seriously….
I suppose I tend to write about things that make me mad. And among the things that get my dander up is the government’s serial fiscal irresponsibility in refusing to confront the inexorable math of Social Security.

That’s a mouthful. So you consider yourself, then, a social critic?
I consider myself a hack novelist with a mortgage. But also, a father of an 18 year old and a 14 year old who are going to spend a large chunk of their working lives paying off the debt incurred by my generation and the ones that went before. What happened to the concept of bequeathing our children a better world? Sorry, feeling a bit grumpy about all this. Really, the book is a laugh riot.

Is it difficult, finding the humor in Social Security reform?
You try it sometime.

No need to get snippy.
I suppose most of my books are elaborate bar bets. With Thank You For Smoking, the bet would have been: can you make a tobacco lobbyist sympathetic? With this it’s: can you make humor out of the government’s incentivizing suicide in order to save Social Security. (I think that may be the first time that I’ve ever typed the word “incentivizing.”)

This is your, what, seventh novel edited by Jonathan Karp?
Something like that. I consider him more than an editor. A collaborator. Not that he helped the Nazis, or anything, during World War II. I don’t think he was even alive then. I totted up the emails I sent him while I was writing BOOMSDAY, most of which begin with “How about if….” There are 264 in my “Karp” folder. I don’t think I could do this without him. Wouldn’t want to, anyway.

Is the main character Cassandra Devine based on anyone in particular?
Not really. She’s a 29 year-old female Washington blogger. (What an awful-sounding job description.) I suppose it’s risky for a 54 year-old male hack novelist to try to get inside the head of a 29 year-old woman. For some reason, most of my main characters tend to be women. I must ask my shrink about that.

Is it fun, writing humor?
It’s fun typing the words “The End.” It’s the 318 pages that come before that aren’t so fun.

Is it gratifying?
I’m glad you asked that. As a matter of fact, the other day, I was being led to the car by a nice nurse after a surgical procedure. (OK, a colonoscopy. Whatever.) I was pretty woozy with Demerol, but I think I remember her saying, “Are you the Christopher Buckley who wrote Little Green Men? I vaguely recalled having written a novel by that title, so I said, ‘I think so.’ She said, “I gave that book to my brother when he was recuperating from spinal surgery in the hospital and he laughed so hard that the doctors took the book away from him.”

That is a nice story.
I’ve asked Karp to put a sticker on the cover of BOOMSDAY saying: SO FUNNY IT’S BANNED IN HOSPITALS! But he keeps saying he’ll get back to me on that. You know these publishers. They’re so cheap.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Wife Between Us
    The Wife Between Us
    by Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
    The Wife Between Us is an intriguing collaboration between first-time novelist Greer Hendricks and ...
  • Book Jacket: The Wife Between Us
    The Wife Between Us
    by Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
    The Wife Between Us is an intriguing collaboration between first-time novelist Greer Hendricks and ...
  • Book Jacket: Only Child
    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin
    Rhiannon Navin's debut novel, Only Child received an overall score of 4.8 out of 5 from BookBrowse ...
  • Book Jacket: Brass
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The French Girl
    by Lexie Elliott

    An exhilarating debut psychological suspense novel for fans of Fiona Barton and Ruth Ware.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Beartown

Now in Paperback!

From the author of a A Man Called Ove, a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.