The Future According to Albert Brooks

Comedian Albert Brooks has always been a love-him-or-hate-him proposition for American moviegoers.  I’ve always loved him, his humor is killer and his sensibilities border on genius from where I sit.

Anyway, he’s just put out his first novel called 2030, it takes place in an America 20 years from now that is pretty much an extrapolation of the current moment.  By taking the preoccupations of our time to their logical conclusions, writers can tell us a lot about how f***in crazy we truly are.  Gary Shteyngart did it with his masterpiece Super Sad True Love Story in 2010.

Brooks takes a crack at it this year and the New York Times has done a preview of what we can expect:

“2030” has a large cast of characters, like the Nobel laureate who cured cancer and the American president who will change his country in profound, irreversible ways. It also has frightening prescience. A 9.1 earthquake hits the Pacific Rim, with devastating consequences. The dollar’s run as the world’s reserve currency is long over. Debt is the era’s overriding issue on both the personal and the political levels, because the cancer-free elderly have stopped dying on schedule. The young bitterly resent the old, and the old have good reason to be fearful.

And yet the news isn’t all bad. International politics have become much more benign, or at least less savage. Certain businesses, like the creation of fake friends and fake children, have thrived. Tracking devices are so ubiquitous that “you had to make an effort not to know where people were,” he writes.

Fake friends and children, ha.  We may not have to wait until the year 2030 to see that one!  I’m totally in for this book, it’s right up my alley.  Links to the NYT piece and the book’s Amazon page below.


A Wry Eye on Problems of the Future (NYT)

2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America (Amazon)

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