Excerpt from Boomsday by Christopher Buckley, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Boomsday

A Novel

by Christopher Buckley

Boomsday by Christopher Buckley X
Boomsday by Christopher Buckley
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2007, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2008, 336 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter 1

Cassandra Devine was not yet thirty, but she was already tired.

“Media training,” they called it. She’d been doing it for years, but it still had the ring of “potty training.”

Today’s media trainee was the chief executive officer of a company that administered hospitals, twenty-eight of them throughout the southeastern United States. In the previous year, it had lost $285 million and one-third of its stock market value. During that same period, the client had been paid $3.8 million in salary, plus a $1.4 million “performance bonus.”

Corporate Crime Scene, the prime-time investigative television program, was doing an exposé and had requested an interview. In her negotiations with the show’s producers, Cass had learned that they had footage of him boarding the company jet ($35 mil) wearing a spectacularly loud Hawaiian shirt and clenching a torpedo-shaped—indeed, torpedo-size—cigar in his teeth while hefting a bag of expensively gleaming golf clubs. Unfortunate as it was, this footage was only the appetizer. The main cinematic course was video of the company’s recent annual “executive retreat” at a Bahamas resort of dubious taste. It showed the client, today’s trainee, along with his fellow executive retreatants—doubtless exhausted after a hard day of budget cutting and crunching numbers—drinking rum punch dispensed from the breasts of anatomically correct female ice sculptures, to the accompaniment of a steel drum band, a limbo bar, and scantily clad waitresses dressed as—oh dear—mermaids. It would all make for a spirited discussion on the upcoming episode of CCS, especially when juxtaposed against the footage they were also running of patients parked like cars in an L.A. traffic jam in litter-strewn corridors, moaning for attention, some of them duct-taped to the wheelchairs.

“So they don’t fall out,” the client explained.

Cass took a sip from her seventh or eighth Red Bull of the day and suppressed a sigh, along with the urge to plunge her ballpoint pen into the client’s heart. Assuming he had one.

“That last one was a lot better,” she said. They’d done four practice interviews so far, with Cass pretending to be the interviewer from the television program. “If you have the energy, I’d like to do just one more. This time, I’d like you to concentrate on smiling and looking straight into the camera. Also, could you please not do that sideways thing with your eyes? It makes you look . . .” Like a sleazebag. “It works against the overall tone of you know . . .transparency.” The man was as transparent as a bucket of tar.

“I really don’t know why we’re even agreeing to the interview.” He sounded peeved, as though he’d been frivolously talked into attending a performance of The Marriage of Figaro when he’d much rather be at the office, helping humanity, devising new and more cost-effective methods of duct-taping terminal patients to their wheelchairs so they could be parked in corridors all day.

“Terry feels that this is the way to go. In cases like this . . .” The client shot her an “I dare you to call me a criminal” glance of defiance. “That is, where the other side has a strong, uh, visual presentation, that it’s best to meet them in the center of the ring, so to speak. We’re looking to project an image of total . . .up-frontness.”

The client snorted.

“That no one is more upset at the”—she glanced at her notes to see what artful term of mendacity they were using at the moment—“?‘revenue downtick.’ And that you and management are”—she looked down at her notes again, this time just to avoid eye contact—“working around the clock to make the, uh, difficult decisions.” Like where to hold next year’s “executive retreat.” Vegas? Macao? Sodom?

Copyright © 2007 by Christopher Taylor Buckley

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Now!


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: My Heart Underwater
    My Heart Underwater
    by Laurel Fantauzzo
    Corazon — Cory — Tagubio is a Filipina-American teenager living with her family in ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Sun
    Black Sun
    by Rebecca Roanhorse
    Reading the first book in a series is always difficult because readers know that, by definition, it ...
  • Book Jacket: Somewhere in the Unknown World
    Somewhere in the Unknown World
    by Kao Kalia Yang
    Resettled refugees are mostly invisible. Their needs are rarely publicized and their struggles are ...
  • Book Jacket: The Orchard
    The Orchard
    by David Hopen
    The protagonist of David Hopen's first novel, The Orchard, is 17-year-old Aryeh Eden, a Brooklyn boy...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Blind Light
    by Stuart Evers

    A multigenerational story about two families bound together by the tides of history.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Exiles
by Christina Baker Kline

The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant historical novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win This Book!
Win Jack

Return to Gilead with Jack, the instant New York Times bestseller

Enter to win Marilynne Robinson's latest novel in her classic series.

Enter


Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I G I O Ear A O T O

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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.