June 12, 2030 started out like any other day in memory - and by then, memories were long. Since cancer had been cured fifteen years before, America's population was aging rapidly. That sounds like good news, but consider this: millions of baby boomers, with a big natural predator picked off, were sucking dry benefits and resources that were never meant to hold them into their eighties and beyond. Young people around the country simmered with resentment toward "the olds" and anger at the treadmill they could never get off of just to maintain their parents' entitlement programs.
But on that June 12th, everything changed: a massive earthquake devastated Los Angeles, and the government, always teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, was unable to respond.
The fallout from the earthquake sets in motion a sweeping novel of ideas that pits national hope for the future against assurances from the past and is peopled by a memorable cast of refugees and billionaires, presidents and revolutionaries, all struggling to find their way. In 2030, the author's all-too-believable imagining of where today's challenges could lead us tomorrow makes gripping and thought-provoking reading.
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First published in hardcover in May 2011
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You can see the full discussion here. This discussion will contain spoilers!
Some of the recent comments posted about 2030:
Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?
I think they're a good thing up to a point. The Compassionate Care Facilities scared the hell out of me. They seem like a nightmare world out of the Matrix. Also, I think most of the medical advances were fine, but blackmailing the offspring into ... - lesg
Can you think of any good solutions to the societal problems that longer lifespans are predicted to cause?
At the very least we need to encourage people to make their end of life decisions while they're able, have a living will if they wish, and write down how they wish to be cared for. - lesg
Did you read the ending as depressing or upbeat?
I read it both ways. The shooting on the retirement "cruise ship" depressed me. I would have liked to have read more closure here. The Chinese president was comical. I agree with one of the participants,whose side would he be on I the event of a war... - janen
Did you sympathize with your own age group? Did you feel like the other generations were portrayed accurately?
Portia, Izabel, I agree with both of you ! I do not think anyone wants to go back to the days before SS, life was awful for a lot of people. Many people worked for wages that provided for daily living and not for long term savings. People need to ... - janen
Do you think 2030 would make a good film? Who would you cast?
2030 would make a great film, probably better than the book. I hope this book catches on and is widely read. There are a lot of issues that we need to face. - jillm
"With 2030 Mr. Brooks has made the nervy move of transposing his worrywart sensibility from film to book. Two things are immediately apparent about his debut novel: that it's as purposeful as it is funny, and that Mr. Brooks has immersed himself deeply in its creation." - New York Times
"The novel is a revelation, painting a caustic, unsettling and only occasionally comic portrait of a country plumb down on its luck." - Los Angeles Times
"Albert Brooks is a keen and critical social observer... His first novel is an inspired work of social science fiction, thoughtful and ambitiously conceived, both serious and seriously funny." - Boston Globe "Comedian and filmmaker Brooks welcomes the reader to the year 2030 in his smart and surprisingly serious debut... Brooks's mordant vision encompasses the future of politics, medicine, entertainment, and daily living, resulting in a novel as entertaining as it is thought provoking, like something from the imagination of a borscht belt H.G. Wells." - Publishers Weekly
"An intriguing vision of America's future." - Library Journal
"Required reading!" - New York Post
"As a comedian and filmmaker, the very gifted Albert Brooks has specialized for more than 30 years in cooking up quandaries with no ready solution except humiliation. His often ingenious first novel is no exception." - New York Times Book Review
"Brooks's vision of the future is credible and compelling." - Booklist
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Albert Brooks is a writer, actor, and director. He has written and directed several classic American comedies that are considered prescient and incisive commentaries on contemporary life, including Lost In America, Modern Romance, and Defending Your Life. Brooks has also acted in over twenty motion pictures for other directors, including Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight, Pixar's Finding Nemo, and James L. Brooks's Broadcast News, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Visit him at albertbrooks.com.
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