Books & Literature

Book Review: I, Millennial, by Tom Ballard

NON-FICTION: Fact-filled and furiously funny, this is a must-read not just for young people wondering why they’ve been given such a raw deal, but for anyone with an interest in how we’re making our collective future impossible.

A blistering message told by a top class comedian that should serve as a warning to billionaires and politicians around the world.

Feature image credit: Simon & Schuster

In 2019, Tom Ballard bravely strode onto a Melbourne stage at their annual comedy festival gala and proceeded to yell at boomers for three and a half minutes. That it was being filmed (and screened) by the ABC—therefore aimed at its target demographic—was either the height of stupidity or a masterstroke, depending on the year you were born in.

Ballard has been rattling the cages of Australia’s patriarchy for a number of years now and his comedy reflects that. This book (subtitled One snowflake’s screed against boomers, billionaires, and everything else) is one for the ages. In a blistering takedown of our society and the people that run it, Ballard has probably written one of the most vital books the working class can read.

Ballard’s comedy chops are well on display here throughout, but it won’t just be the jokes that sit in your head when you finish. It will be the feeling of rage and anger you have towards the billionaires and politicians of this world and the lack of equity (and equality) that will truly flourish.

It would be easy for Ballard to point the finger at one side of politics but he has no mercy in his disdain for the lack of spine shown by the Liberals and the ALP and their international counterparts. Through some amazing research, he explains the history of how not only Australia, but the world, has arrived at a place where millennials cannot afford to buy a house, the planet is dying, and the rich continue to get richer.

The lengthy chapters break down various aspects of our lives and how corporations, billionaires, and politicians have ruined it, whether it is our health system, our education system, our financial markets, or our environment. Ballard leaves no stone unturned in this rage-fuelled tome.

This reviewer had to stop reading the book about two thirds of the way through for a short time as the rage it was inducing was not good for my mental health. This is not a criticism of the book at all; in fact one could go so far as to say “mission accomplished.”

Ballard suggests that the way forward is by supporting The Greens and he points to the most recent election result where that party gained the controlling vote in the Senate (instead of other parties like One Nation) as a giant message to Canberra that the spin is starting to wear off. People are getting smarter and Ballard’s millennials are now in a position to not only vote but enter Parliament.

This is an important book that should be read by anybody with even just a passing interest in the future of the planet and the people who live on it. It should also be read by politicians of all persuasion. Tom Ballard may just become as important a figure as Greta Thunberg. It would be a shame if Ballard’s message remained unheard.

Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Twitter: @Wagnerfan74

Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released: November 2022
RRP: $32.99

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

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