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Balsamic Dreams

New or Used: $24.00
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About the Author

The bestselling author of America and Queenan Country, Joe Queenan is a contributing writer at Men's Health and writes regularly for the New York Times, Forbes and Smart Money. His movie criticism appears every month in the Guardian Weekend section; he has appeared on Nightly Review, Newsnight and Front Row; he has written and starred in three short satirical programs on Channel 4; and can regularly be heard on BBC Radio 4. Mr Queenan lives in Tarrytown, New York.


What distinguishes the baby boomers? According to film and social critic Queenan (Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon) in this witty, sardonic and heartfelt paen to his fellow aging boomers, they weren't the first generation to sell out "but they were the first generation to sell out and then insist that they hadn't." Deftly distilling the impact of a wide range of events in popular culture, he cites April 21, 1971, as one of "ten days that rocked the world" for boomers, with the release of Carol King's album Tapestry. Meanwhile, recent films such as What Lies Beneath and The Haunting appeal to boomers, he observes, with the message, "Just because you're dead doesn't mean you can't get your life organized." And, he asks, won't someone "admit that La Vita e Bella is Holocaust-denying crap?" Queenan occasionally belabors his humorous conceits (e.g., he ranks baby boomers as the 267th best generation, "right behind the Carthaginians in 220 B.C."). Yet he can also cut to the quick: "We abandoned the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed [for] postdoctoral work in American Studies.... We made millionaires out of nitwits like Deepak Chopra and Tom Clancy while geniuses starved." (June) Forecasts: Queenan's broad, well-defined audience will eat up this cultural criticism lite. With a 12-city author tour and national print ad campaign timed for Father's Day, this self-proclaimed sellout will sell big. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

" Really funny....Again and again, Queenan neatly dices and skewers the pretensions, hypocrisies and fashion mistakes of the generation that came of age during the 1960s...."Balsamic Dreams" is, as we Boomers would say, just about as good as it gets." -- "The Washington Post" " A witty tirade." -- "The New York Times" " Full of rollicking and hilarious prose, and with this book Queenan performs a public service: He tells boomers to get over themselves." -- "USA Today" " Lunch-pail Voltaire for our times." -- "San Francisco Chronicle" " Often clever and rarely wrong....A finely, funny screed." -- "The Wall Street Journal" " A sardonic, often laugh-out-loud puncturing of Baby Boomer pretensions." -- "Kirkus Reviews "(starred review) " Queenan...dissects these ephemeral creatures asdelicately as an entomologist examining the innerworkings of a mayfly. He lays bare their failings, foibles, fatuities, flaws, and fads with a keen and unsentimental knife. The pages bristle with caustic wit and deadlyparody....A fully diverting diversion." -- "Library Journal" " A hilarious, quasi-maniacal extended rant against baby boomers....He pulls no punches." -- ""

Satirist Queenan observes his generation, the baby boomers, and doesn't find much to like about any of them. An unconfirmed medical diagnosis led him to think he was going to die, thus inspiring him to assess his life. He subsequently found he was perfectly healthy, but he continued with the analysis of his contemporaries. Queenan freely describes all the ills committed by that mass of Americans born between 1946 and 1964 (or thereabouts): their idealism in the 1960s and their emotional shallowness in the 1990s; their willingness to embrace the latest psychobabble as the ultimate, the best until the next theory comes along; and their materialism. It is not apparent that this is a collection of essays until Queenan writes a history of the Civil War in "boomer-speak," which is extremely superficial and not particularly amusing. Narrator Paul Boehmer talks relentlessly and makes numerous noticeable pronunciation errors, especially with French words. A marginal purchase.-Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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