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The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel…

The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 (2016)

by Lionel Shriver

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Riley books are predictable,escapist reads. But sometimes that is what you need from a book.

However her writing is so compelling, it keeps you going never realising how you got to the end. Love her books for that!

For a complete review please click on the link below:

http://onerightword.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/the-mandibles-lionel-shriver.html ( )
  ashkrishwrites | Aug 29, 2018 |
After reading past reviews I agree that there is not much "new" in terms of ideas here, and yes, there is too much debate/discussion about economics, but I think reading this now, in 2018, feels scarier then it did pre-2016 election. It is pretty disturbing how much it feels like something like this plot could happen very soon, and it led to pointless discussions about what is valuable now, what could be valuable in a crisis (seriously - toilet paper!) and how one could possibly protect oneself form being wiped-out in a similar financial/social crisis! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
(26) This was just OK for me. I thought 'The Post-Birthday World' was great and 'We need to talk about Kevin" - devastating. So I was expecting to like this more. I still think she is a brilliant writer, but I just was not as interested in this cast of characters and I tend not to like dystopian narratives much. This is about an extended family that is expecting a big inheritance from the 90+ year old patriarch when all of a sudden the US defaults on all their debt and curtails trade outside of the U.S. The financial crisis which follows is apocalyptic, in particular for the Mandibles, who had been expecting to soon be flush. Essentially U.S currency becomes worthless.

There is a lot of irony here which I enjoyed - the reverse immigration into Mexico; speaking Spanish in the public schools, anti-big government, gun-toting Nevadans being the resistance; the good guys.

What I did not love was all the economics she weaved through. Especially at the beginning. You can blame it on my poor understanding of the theory, but I almost wanted to skim through all of those conversations and I found the book hard to get into because of that. I also think these characters just did not come alive for me as the ones in her previous novels. There were to many of them and with the exception of Willing and Great Grand Man and maybe Florence - I couldn't keep them straight. POV changed but the voice almost seemed the same.

Anyway, I still really admire the way Shriver turns an acerbic phrase. I love her line about the new America where you check your ADHD, your Gluten intolerance, and your emotional support animals at the door. I am still laughing. But overall, this novel was a bit of a dud. ( )
  jhowell | May 27, 2018 |
  janicearkulisz | Feb 16, 2018 |
I was reading this book in Sonoma, Ca while the worst fires in California history were raging. This dystopian novel about the descent into hell for the well to do was mirroring the realty of many people here that have lost everything in the fire. Fortunately, I am ok and was able to finish this terrific book. This is my first Shriver book though I am familiar with her work. Many of the reviewers have trouble with what they see as baby boomer and old people bashing along with attacks on the government. This is important to the novel. Basically in the year 2029 things have been tough in the US. Water shortage, a loss of the internet for 3 weeks in 2024 and myriad other problems plague us. Shriver takes most of the existing trends in our 2017 culture and extends them out in 2029: robots, driver less cars, increasing minority population. She does it in a creative satirical way that is both funny but also plausible. It is the plausibility of this book that makes it so interesting. In 2029 the non-american world gangs up on the dollar by creating a new currency call the bancor meant to displace the dollar. This group is led by Putin. Rather than work with the rest of the world our Mexican born president(Latins are the majority now) renounces all of our debts. This begins the descent. The story of the Mandibles is about an extended family that has been waiting for their inheritance from their 97 year old patriarch Douglas. The crisis renders this worthless and the rest of the book deals with how this mult-generational family copes and survives. An understanding of economics helps but is not necessary to enjoy this book. It is well written with wonderful prose and lots of humor. It really gets you thinking how you would survive in a world where the veneer of civilization has worn away and it is dog eat dog. Having seen the positive side of humanity during the our North Bay fires, I would hope that it would not end up like this novel. Again, this is a must read!!!! ( )
  nivramkoorb | Oct 17, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062328247, Hardcover)

With dry wit and psychological acuity, this near-future novel explores the aftershocks of an economically devastating U.S. sovereign debt default on four generations of a once-prosperous American family. Down-to-earth and perfectly realistic in scale, this is not an over-the-top Blade Runner tale. It is not science fiction.

In 2029, the United States is engaged in a bloodless world war that will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Overnight, on the international currency exchange, the “almighty dollar” plummets in value, to be replaced by a new global currency, the “bancor.” In retaliation, the president declares that America will default on its loans. “Deadbeat Nation” being unable to borrow, the government prints money to cover its bills. What little remains to savers is rapidly eaten away by runaway inflation.

The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their ninety-seven-year-old patriarch dies. Once the inheritance turns to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also—as the U.S. economy spirals into dysfunction—the challenge of sheer survival.

Recently affluent, Avery is petulant that she can’t buy olive oil, while her sister, Florence, absorbs strays into her cramped household. An expat author, their aunt, Nollie, returns from abroad at seventy-three to a country that’s unrecognizable. Her brother, Carter, fumes at caring for their demented stepmother, now that an assisted living facility isn’t affordable. Only Florence’s oddball teenage son, Willing, an economics autodidact, will save this formerly august American family from the streets.

The Mandibles is about money. Thus it is necessarily about bitterness, rivalry, and selfishness—but also about surreal generosity, sacrifice, and transformative adaptation to changing circumstances.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 10 Jan 2016 13:09:46 -0500)

It is 2029. The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their 97-year-old patriarch dies. Yet America's soaring national debt has grown so enormous that it can never be repaid. Under siege from an upstart international currency, the dollar is in meltdown. A bloodless world war will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Their inheritance turned to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also -- as the effects of the downturn start to hit -- the challenge of sheer survival. Recently affluent Avery is petulant that she can't buy olive oil, while her sister Florence is forced to absorb strays into her increasingly cramped household. As their father Carter fumes at having to care for his demented stepmother now that a nursing home is too expensive, his sister Nollie, an expat author, returns from abroad at 73 to a country that's unrecognizable. Perhaps only Florence's oddball teenage son Willing, an economics autodidact, can save this formerly august American family from the streets. This is not science fiction. This is a frightening, fascinating, scabrously funny glimpse into the decline that may await the United States all too soon, from the pen of perhaps the most consistently perceptive and topical author of our times.… (more)

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