"Torday is a singular American writer with a big heart and a real love for the world. He has the rare gift for writing dynamic action scenes while being genuinely funny." —George Saunders
Bluegrass musician, former journalist and editor, and now PhD in English, Mark Brumfeld has arrived at his thirties with significant debt and no steady prospects. His girlfriend Cassie—a punk bassist in an all-female band, who fled her Midwestern childhood for a new identity—finds work at a “new media” company. When Cassie refuses his marriage proposal, Mark leaves New York and returns to the basement of his childhood home in the Baltimore suburbs.
Desperate and humiliated, Mark begins to post a series of online video monologues that critique Baby Boomers and their powerful hold on the job market. But as his videos go viral, and while Cassie starts to build her career, Mark loses control of what he began—with consequences that ensnare them in a matter of national security.
Told through the perspectives of Mark, Cassie, and Mark’s mother, Julia, a child of the '60s whose life is more conventional than she ever imagined, Boomer1 is timely, suspenseful, and in every line alert to the siren song of endless opportunity that beckons and beguiles all of us.
Torday (The Last Flight of Poxl West) constructs a hilarious story about generational conflict brought to a boiling point. Mark Brumfeld a former journalist, bluegrass guitarist, and current English literature PhD candidate is frustrated with the slow economy and job market, which he blames the baby boomers for. To allay his frustrations, Mark creates a web video series to encourage baby boomers to vacate their jobs, and for millennials to be ready to take them by force, if necessary. But what started as catharsis quickly morphs into a domestic terrorist organization aimed at pushing boomers out of the workforce. The story is told through the perspectives of Mark; his ex-girlfriend Cassie, a punk bassist who remakes herself in new media; and Mark's mother, Julia, a former wild-child turned suburban wife. Following the overeducated and underemployed, Torday traces the progress of radical thought from its foothold in the passionate young minds during the 1960s to its eventual domestication and corporatization. As tensions rise, the people in Mark's life find themselves facing difficult questions about the accessibility of success and what it means to prevail in a system where so few manage to do so. While the ending feels anticlimactic, Torday's wry examination of those attempting to survive in postrecession America is particularly poignant.