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A huge tale of a future America and its economic downfall. It centres on four generations of one family, the Mandibles, and attempts to explain how the economics of 2029 works. Whites are in the minority, the Hispanics the majority, along with the obese and the elderly. Robots are fully functional so employment opportunities are minimal. There is a water shortage and later a shortage of everything. Theft and extortion shine. There are many families to a house, even to a room. By 2047 quite a lot has recovered and people are now ‘chipped’. We learn all this as our family struggles to survive. Strangely it seems very plausible as it gives us a glimmer of light in one State, Nevada. It is a challenging read, a story of optimism as well as destruction, impressive and fascinating.
The brilliant new novel from the Orange Prize-winning author of We Need to Talk about Kevin. 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.
Closing date: 23/01/2020
Praise for THE MANDIBLES: A Family, 2029-2047
'As ever, Shriver cuts close to the bone! ... Distinctly chilling
'A tale that fizzes with ideas and jokes ... the comedy is pitch black'
'Shriver is fast becoming the go-to novelist for some of the big issues ... breezy, mordantly comic ... if the test of a futuristic novel is its eerie proximity to the present, this passes with flying colours'
'Impressively sweeping... Shriver's intelligence, mordant humour and vicious leaps of imagination all combine to make this a novel that is as unsettling as it is entertaining in its portrait of the cataclysmic unravelling of the American dream'
'The stuff of nightmares ... Shriver cleverly balances tragedy with black comedy'
'It's scaring the hell out of me'
'Shriver is as brilliant, funny and incisive as ever'
Woman and Home
'A scary, depressing and convincing horror story, akin to reading about teetering on the edge of a precipice while actually teetering on the edge of a precipice'
'Insightful and darkly funny'
'Her verve and ambition are impressive ... Few writers since William Gaddis in his brilliant JR have had the chutzpah to take on America's particular money madness'
Mail on Sunday
Publication date: 09/03/2017
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||9th March 2017|
|Publisher:||The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical fiction,|
Lionel Shriver's novels include the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, which won the 2005 Orange Prize and has now sold over a million copies worldwide. Other books include Double Fault, A Perfectly Good Family, and So Much for That. Lionel’s novels have been translated into twenty-five different languages and. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She lives in London.More About Lionel Shriver