Is this what's in store? 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 for gripping and thought-provoking listening.More
Everybody knows Albert Brooks. He's been at the forefront of comedy, film, and television since the late '60s. From Taxi Driver to The Simpsons Movie, from Saturday Night Live to Weeds, Brooks continues to roll with the times and prove himself to new generations of fans. It's almost unbelievable that he waited so long to try writing a book, and that the book isn't just a memoir. Instead, with 2030, Brooks is sticking to what he does best: envisioning the future with his keenly funny and often self-deprecating liberal, Jewish, show-biz eye. That's not a stereotype; that's the genre that Brooks perfected.
It may seem like a bit of a mystery as to why Brooks chose to call in another pro to do the narration, but Dick Hill is unquestionably the right man for the job. With over 300 audiobooks under his belt, three Audies and dozens of Earphone Awards to his credit, there's no voice Hill can't handle. He manages to make Brooks' didactic sense of humor crystal clear without stooping to a simple imitation of the way Brooks sounds. Hill adds significant depth and a bit of empathy to characters that are meant more as placeholders for the unfurling crisis than as literary gems, contributing an important dimension to the experience of the novel with which Brooks' more than ample screenwriting talent is perhaps not entirely acquainted.
This book is meant to showcase large dreams, but it isn't a dystopian novel. It describes a world where the big one has finally shaken the author's beloved Los Angeles into a state of emergency too big for the government to solve alone. The president is forced to partner with China to rebuild, and although there are a dozen characters' intersecting lives to sift though, the interesting thing about the book is really just Brooks' analysis of our future history between now and 2030. A left-wing cautionary tale that does not forsake the limits of scientific or economic plausibility, this is a refreshing new direction for Brooks that gains a terrific assist from Dick Hill's masterful character study. Megan Volpert
"This is an intriguing vision of America's future. Recommended for fans of futuristic dystopian fiction." (Library Journal)
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A strange story, and possibly some validity to it.