Review: Boomer1

Mark Brumfeld is over educated, under employed, in debt and living in his parents basement. He finds himself there after his girlfriend, Cassie, rejects his marriage proposal and his job prospects in New York dry up.

In the novel Boomer1, Mark is desperate and resentful as he launches a series of YouTube rants against aging Baby Boomers who won’t let go of their jobs so Millennials can have them. His missives touch a nerve and a movement begins that grows out of Mark’s control, eventually embroiling him with law enforcement.

The plot in Boomer1 by Daniel Torday (digital galley, St. Martin’s Press) jumps between the views of Mark, his ex-girlfriend who is finding success in new media and his mother who is suffering from hearing loss. The chapters devoted to his mother and his ex-girlfriend are the most compelling and authentic of the book and their stories alone would have made for a better novel.

Boomer1 feels like it might have been timely for a brief period, but that period has passed. Mark’s YouTube rants ring hollow in the current climate of low unemployment. And some of the more interesting and timely issues raised in the novel, such as excessive student debt and the ethics of new media are not touched on in a meaningful way.