Customer Reviews for

2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America

Average Rating 4
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(27)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

I connected with the younger generation of this book.

I'm in my early 30's and have an above average job. I still send a check out every month for my student loans. I have paid thousands of dollars to medical loans because of the ridiculous cost of health care in this country. I don't own a home nor have any children. I do...
I'm in my early 30's and have an above average job. I still send a check out every month for my student loans. I have paid thousands of dollars to medical loans because of the ridiculous cost of health care in this country. I don't own a home nor have any children. I don't feel like America is stable enough for my generation to really feel comfortable with settling down in one spot. I sat at the same desk and worked for 3 different companies from 2004 to 2011. I know there will be no retirement for my generation. I know nobody is going to start making the rich pay their fair share. I know corporations will continue to monopolize the market place. I know there are almost no outlets for true journalism (Amy Goodman and Democracy Now does the best she can). I know as long as the elected leaders put before me are a multiple choice test of preselected candidates nothing will change. Great book though.

posted by NMUwildcat on May 24, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Ho-Hum

This is not a work of literature. The author (whose main credits are screenplays) writes with the economy of words one expects in a screenplay, and this work reads more like a book-length treatment than anything else. I expect to see fairly soon that it will be made i...
This is not a work of literature. The author (whose main credits are screenplays) writes with the economy of words one expects in a screenplay, and this work reads more like a book-length treatment than anything else. I expect to see fairly soon that it will be made into a film.

Brooks' dystopian future is filled with gadgetry he describes in detail but which has little use in the story. Excepting the video-phones and the concept of retirement communities on cruise ships, there's entirely too much attention given to things. Had the author spend more time developing characters and locations, we might actually have a nice work of fiction here.

Instead, we have an overloaded cast of characters, some of whom are invested with an entire story line and many of whom are ignored when the author no longer knows what to do with them.

The basic story is this: The man who cured cancer gets into a shouting match with a young man (Max) who wants the older generation to understand how badly they're taxing their children. The failed encounter spurs Max to lead a small gang which briefly takes over a retirement community. Max and his gang are killed by a SEAL team, but not before about 15 retirees die in the process.

The other story lines -- the Los Angeles earthquake, the rebuilding of LA by China and the ensuing partnership, the plans to put a foreign-born man into the White House as president, the current president's need for emotional intimacy that alienates his wife, etc., etc. -- aren't needed in their current, bloated form, to advance the basic story. Even the story of Kathy (who is saddled with debt after her father dies and who is briefly considered an accomplice of Max) would have been interesting had it been treated as something other than padding.

Is it comic in places? Darkly so, and that wears thin in short order. Does it present a cautionary tale of the high price (financially and emotionally) of the USA taking on more debt? Perhaps, but it gets lost in the author's fascination with technological advances.

Don't waste your time. This book isn't worth all of the hype that has gone into it.

posted by Elishka on June 20, 2011

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    I connected with the younger generation of this book.

    I'm in my early 30's and have an above average job. I still send a check out every month for my student loans. I have paid thousands of dollars to medical loans because of the ridiculous cost of health care in this country. I don't own a home nor have any children. I don't feel like America is stable enough for my generation to really feel comfortable with settling down in one spot. I sat at the same desk and worked for 3 different companies from 2004 to 2011. I know there will be no retirement for my generation. I know nobody is going to start making the rich pay their fair share. I know corporations will continue to monopolize the market place. I know there are almost no outlets for true journalism (Amy Goodman and Democracy Now does the best she can). I know as long as the elected leaders put before me are a multiple choice test of preselected candidates nothing will change. Great book though.

    11 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    It certainly makes you think and quite possibly lose sleep!

    2030 is science fiction but alarmingly plausible, entertaining and thought provoking. Brooks' story of what the U.S. will be like in the year 2030 is more terrifying than any monster movie, sociopath psycho murderer or doomsday portrayal out there. The major issues of the book are of the issues we face today, what ever-increasing life-spans and ever-increasing government deficits will inevitably do to our children and grandchildren in the next twenty years and bringing hopeful solutions. Good things too, cancer is a thing of the past, and no on gets fat. Most of the plot revolves around the growing stresses between generations, a tension that is intensified when the long-predicted major earthquake devastates Los Angeles, and the government realizes it could no longer borrow its way out of disaster. This is somewhat comical, but, sarcasm, political humor, and doom and gloom also present themselves. All told, I really enjoyed it! It certainly makes you think and quite possibly lose a little sleep.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Ho-Hum

    This is not a work of literature. The author (whose main credits are screenplays) writes with the economy of words one expects in a screenplay, and this work reads more like a book-length treatment than anything else. I expect to see fairly soon that it will be made into a film.

    Brooks' dystopian future is filled with gadgetry he describes in detail but which has little use in the story. Excepting the video-phones and the concept of retirement communities on cruise ships, there's entirely too much attention given to things. Had the author spend more time developing characters and locations, we might actually have a nice work of fiction here.

    Instead, we have an overloaded cast of characters, some of whom are invested with an entire story line and many of whom are ignored when the author no longer knows what to do with them.

    The basic story is this: The man who cured cancer gets into a shouting match with a young man (Max) who wants the older generation to understand how badly they're taxing their children. The failed encounter spurs Max to lead a small gang which briefly takes over a retirement community. Max and his gang are killed by a SEAL team, but not before about 15 retirees die in the process.

    The other story lines -- the Los Angeles earthquake, the rebuilding of LA by China and the ensuing partnership, the plans to put a foreign-born man into the White House as president, the current president's need for emotional intimacy that alienates his wife, etc., etc. -- aren't needed in their current, bloated form, to advance the basic story. Even the story of Kathy (who is saddled with debt after her father dies and who is briefly considered an accomplice of Max) would have been interesting had it been treated as something other than padding.

    Is it comic in places? Darkly so, and that wears thin in short order. Does it present a cautionary tale of the high price (financially and emotionally) of the USA taking on more debt? Perhaps, but it gets lost in the author's fascination with technological advances.

    Don't waste your time. This book isn't worth all of the hype that has gone into it.

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 13, 2011

    Very Highly Recommended

    I was not familiar with this author but I love stories that take place in the future and simply fell in love with this book. The characters are great as are the ideas. What a pleasant surprise to find a new author that I like so much.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    WOW! Right out of the gate Mr. Brooks writes a winner!

    I may have a significant bias for Mr. Brooks' works (I love every single film of his, and can only wait until Blu-Ray versions are released someday), so when I bought 2030 I fully expected to see some standard Brooksian takes on society. Does he deliver, and more! A prescient take on what America could be like in less than two decades, Albert Brooks takes the lives of about a dozen characters through their trials and tribulations of life - whether it's survivors of a world-changing earthquake in LA, a parent's death, an aspiring Bill Gates cum politician, or our first Jewish President. Each storyline is interesting in its own right, but how they tie together (and are tied together so well by the writer) is magnificent. I know we'll probably never see the book turned into a movie (as the writer as noted in an interview or two - especially when you consider the costs of producing a film with so much to tell), and I'm fine with that. Mr. Brooks has done such a great job in writing a thought-provoking, if not slightly scary, book that I am satisfied with the visuals I've created in my own mind. I'm just a little torn, though, regarding what could be next from Mr. Brooks. I would wish we'd see more films (in the line of Defending Your Life or Mother, his two best in my view) written/directed by the artist, but at the same time I would love another novel or two. For now, though, I can live in the satisfaction of using all waking moments in a single weekend to plow through 2030, coming away fully satisfied in my choice of reading material.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    GREAT FICTION

    If you like fiction with a great imagination and great characters I can't think of a better read in the last few months. Really enjoyable. Thanks to Lori at Barnes and Noble for the recommendation.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    Couldnt put it down

    Read it at the gym, plane, at night... funny yet serious and thought provoking

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2011

    Not very entertaining.

    Not very entertaining.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2011

    See what the future holds...

    Surprisingly good! What a great imagination. But I can really see a lot of that happening in the near future.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    Funny And Scary

    If you like anything about Albert Brooks you will love love this book. He has always had one of the great imaginations and it is all here on the page. A MUST read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    good. Should have been longer.

    I hope there is a second book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Disappointing read

    Unrealalistic plot and pretty boring

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2012

    A great read

    America has sold it soul, and we didn't get much for it. This story tells us what happens when we look at the money instead of the people. The sad thing is that all of this has already happened.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Interesting concept

    Albert Brooks brought up ideas that are not too far off the radar. Good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    excellent read

    excellent projection of future based on current events

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    I liked l I liked it very much i am surprised at all the negative reviews


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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    Bad ending to what stgarted great

    So disappointing

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  • Posted June 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    First of all, the writing was poor. Sounds like a high schooler

    First of all, the writing was poor. Sounds like a high schooler wrote it. Second of all, it was a novel about health insurance. Really? UGH!!!!! Snoozefest! Don't waste your time reading this book! I wish i could get my money back and the time i took to read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Idiocracy in print

    Sardonic

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    AN IMAGINATIVE TALE.

    “And he resented that whatever he wound up doing, a portion of his earnings was always going to his grandfather and all the rest of them. 'He never even sent me a birthday present,’ Brian would say, ‘and now I have to pay for his wheelchair’.”—page 30

    Not half as dystopian as I’d anticipated, ‘2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America,’ by Albert Brooks, still does, because of its believable feasibility, add a pinch of despondency and despair to the mix of being old (or being young) in America. I remember a time when our mantra was: Never trust anyone over thirty. Since then that mantra has been turned on its head, and the generation gap has only grown wider.

    Perhaps there’s a young and bright hero on the horizon who might be able to at least loosen, if not untie, the Gordian knot of entitlements the past few generations has tied us in. Can we hope?

    Recommendation: Worth reading and thinking about.

    “If we don’t improve our youth’s chances for a better life, we will one day hand this country over to a generation that does not want it.”—page 282

    NOOKbook edition, 365 pages

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