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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Balsamic Dreams

Balsamic Dreams

A Short But Self-Important History of the Baby Boomer Generation

Joe Queenan



From the bestselling author of Red Lobster, White Trash and the Blue Lagoon comes a vintage Queenan tirade chronicling the evolution of his own Baby Boomer Generation. How did a generation that started out at Woodstock and Monterey end up at Crate & Barrel? How did a generation that promised to "teach its children well" end up with a progeny so evil they could give Damien from The Omen a run for his money? And what is so fascinating about porcini mushrooms? Professional iconoclast Queenan shows how a generation with so much promise lost its way by confusing pop culture with culture and mistaking lifestyle for life.

Queenan on The Sixties: "Baby Boomers who never saw Hendrix, did drugs, locked or loaded an AK-47 in country or bedded down with a girl named Radiance now all pretend they did. It's like those Civil War reenactment buffs who have drunk so much Wild Turkey they actually think they were at Chickamauga."

Queenan on Death: "A generation whose primary cultural artifact is the Filofax has enormous difficulty shoehorning death into its schedule: it's inconvenient, time-consuming and stressful. 'We don't have time to die this afternoon; Caitlin has ballet.'"

Balsamic Dreams

Throughout history, generations imbued with a messianic complex have inspired a wide range of powerful emotions. The Jacobins who decapitated Louis XVI inspired dread. The insurgents...

Praise for Balsamic Dreams

“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.” —

Reviews from Goodreads

Joe Queenan

Joe Queenan is a contributing editor at GQ and writes the column "Good Fences" for The New York Times. The Author of Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon, he lives in Tarrytown, New York.


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