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

Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley

An interview with Christopher Buckley

A Conversation with Christopher Buckley
Administered by Himself

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
    My Name Is Leon
    by Kit De Waal
    Kit de Waal's striking debut, My Name is Leon, has inspired this big, long, complicated question: ...
  • Book Jacket: New People
    New People
    by Danzy Senna
    Danzy Senna has spent virtually her entire writing career exploring the complicated intersections of...
  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
News of the World by Paulette Jiles

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Young Jane Young
    by Gabrielle Zevin

    From the author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes a novel that will have everyone talking.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Resurrection of Joan Ashby

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas

Epic, propulsive, incredibly ambitious, and dazzlingly written--a story about sacrifice and motherhood.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I's A D Before D

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.