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Balsamic Dreams: A Short But Self-Important…

Balsamic Dreams: A Short But Self-Important History of the Baby Boomer… (2002)

by Joe Queenan

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1765101,013 (3.41)3

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Showing 5 of 5
I found Joe Queenan funny when he was taking the piss out of actors. Any book where he doesn’t partake in piss taking wanes in comparison. And as Queenan has aged, his rants have become longer, less directed and less, well, funny.

“Balsamic Dreams” is Queenan’s book-long rant against baby boomers, the generation he blames for just about everything. I’m not a Baby Boomer so no skin off my nose but I was looking forward to the end of chapters far more often than one should.

I would love to see the return of the acerbic, hilarious Queenan but I fear that age has enraged him too much. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Jan 30, 2017 |
Dead-on skewering of the Baby Boomers is mostly hilarious, though a few chapters near the end seem to be filler. There are many evilly accurate bits to read aloud to the Boomer in one's life, just to watch him get all defensive and huffy. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
This is a pretty scathing indictment of the Baby Boomer generation – all the more scathing, and all the more funny, because it seems totally true. Sure, Queenan is a bit obsessed with the devolution of ‘60s rock into “soft” rock, but when he tells the story about the SUV-driving, cell phone-talking guy who takes his purebred dog to another neighborhood to poop on other people’s lawns while he follows behind in his gas-guzzling monstrosity, you can’t help but think, “I know that guy! And he sucks.”

Yes, Baby Boomers collectively suck, and it’s nice to hear a fellow Boomer stand up and declare it. They’re bankrupting future generations, destroying the environment and displaying an unprecedented amount of selfishness and self-absorption. Worse yet, they totally sold out, yet they won’t admit it! Who can respect that? (The only part of Queenan’s book I don’t totally agree with is his diatribe against Gen X’ers – after all, as a teeny generation sandwiched between Baby Boomers and their obnoxious children, Generation Y-ine, what chance did we have?) ( )
1 vote sturlington | Oct 27, 2011 |
Queenan is really good at giving our Baby Boomer generation the scathing but funny treatment they deserve. As Dave Lowery sang at one time, 'I Hate My Generation.' ( )
  nog | Sep 27, 2010 |
Whether you agree with Queenan's observations or not (and most non Baby Boomers would), this book is an absolutely hilarious read. Wall Street Journal describes Balsamic Dreams as 'Clever and rarely wrong'. I would have to agree with this statement. Despite Joe Queenan's Baby Boomer status, or perhaps because of it, Balsamic Dreams chronicles just about every aspect of the Baby Boomer generation that drives the rest of us insane - and he does it with a wit and style that will keep you laughing from beginning to end. An essential read for anyone who has ever rolled their eyes and sighed 'Baby Boomers'. ( )
  seldombites | Sep 18, 2009 |
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To Joe and Mary Weiss
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Several years ago, I asked my mother, born in 1920, when she realized that the world she knew was slipping away from her.
...Baby Boomers make up the largest generation in American history, and are unarguably the most self-absorbed, the most avaricious, the most deeply entrenched, and the most annoying.
One reason they are so annoying is because they have never grown up...
Boomers persist in the belief that they are the most resourceful, most ingenious, most sophisticated, and most important in the history of mankind.
Rejecting the verdict of society at large - let's face it, everybody else hates them - the 75 million Americans born between 1944 and 1960 persist in the delusion that they are really smart, really good, really cool people...
Tragically, self-immolation is the only completely egocentric activity that Baby Boomers scrupulously avoid.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 031242082X, Paperback)

As witty as Michael Lewis, more sarcastic than Bobos in Paradise, bloodthirsty pop culture critic Joe Queenan talks trash about his generation and its "lifestyle über alles philosophy" in his career-capstone screed, Balsamic Dreams. And what distinguishes the baby boomers, in Queenan's acerbic opinion? "They don't ever actually want anything. They just want a huge number of choices.... They have to videotape everything. They have bottomless faith in self-help, though it's obviously not working.... They're stupefyingly self-centered, unbelievably rude, obnoxious beyond belief, and they're everywhere." Queenan bemoans "the frantic attempt by roly-poly middle-aged Republicans [also known as "the Man in the Gray Flannel Track Suit"] to evince an aura of coolness because they possess one (1) Smashing Pumpkins record and two (2) suede jackets with virtually imperceptible leopard spots." He demolishes Paul Allen's Experience Music Project with sentences like buzz bombs. James Ellroy says that Queenan is "half-Calvinist, half-nihilist," and this book proves it. Perhaps most important, Queenan reveals that "middle-aged men who wear baseball caps turned backwards do not look like Puff Daddy. They look like De Niro's doomed moron catcher in Bang the Drum Slowly." --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:27 -0400)

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