PDF Lionel Shriver ´ The Mandibles A Family 2029–2047 PDF ¿ The ´

The year is 2029 and nothing is as it should be The very essence of American life the dollar is under attack In a coordinated move by the rest of the world’s governments the dollar loses all its value The American President declares that the States will default on all its loans–prices skyrocket currency becomes essentially worthless and we watch one family struggle to survive through it allThe Mandibles can count on their inheritance no longer and each member must come to terms with this in their own way–from the elegant expat author Nollie in her middle age returning to the US from Paris after many years abroad to her precocious teenage nephew Willing who is the only one to actually understand the crisis to the brilliant Georgetown economics professor Lowell who watches his whole vision of the world disintegrate before his eyesAs ever in her new novel Shriver draws larger than life characters who illuminate this complicated ever changing world One of our sharpest observers of human nature Shriver challenges us to think long and hard about the society we live in and what ultimately we hold most dear


10 thoughts on “The Mandibles A Family 2029–2047

  1. says:

    Shriver does a good line in biting social commentary attacking the US health care system in So Much for That and the obesity epidemic in Big Brother Here she aims at Atwood style near future speculative fiction and takes as her topic the world economy This could have been fun but there are a few big problems Worst is the sheer information overload tons of economic detail crammed into freuent wearisome conversations One character is an economics professor another a teenage prodigy who spouts off just as much theory I nearly gave up at 25% and probably should have because I was tired of dull economics lessonsInstead of making America’s total financial collapse a vague backdrop for her novel Shriver takes readers through it event by agonizing event This means that the first third or of the novel feels like prologue setting the scene When she finally gets around to the crux of the matter – the entire extended Mandible family descending on Florence’s small New York City house – it feels like too little plot too late At one point I thought we were headed for full blown The Road territory as hyperinflation and competition for resources drive New Yorkers to crime But to the novel’s detriment Shriver then leaps ahead about 15 years looking at the aftermath and taking her few surviving characters to the rogue splinter state of Nevada I was disappointed the action didn’t go to Jarred’s upstate New York farm insteadFlorence and her son Willing are sympathetic main characters but Nollie was my favorite player and didn’t show up until the one third point A Shriver stand in she’s an irascible expatriate novelist dedicated to exercise and her box of manuscripts Also of note is Luella the Mandible patriarch’s dementia addled second wife who is nicely reminiscent of Bertha Mason Most of the other characters are odious in one way or another – not that many of Shriver’s characters whatever the book can really be described as likeableEverything Shriver imagines for the near future except perhaps the annoying new slang eg “boomerpoop” is or less believable But boy is it tedious in the telling You might crack a rare smile at Ed Balls being the UK’s prime minister in 2029 or Chelsea Clinton being president in the 2040s – that is if your eyes haven’t already glazed over from passages of dialogue like the followingAt the moment foreign demand for US debt is low—but there are completely unrelated reasons for backing off US debt instruments in a variety of different countries that just happen to be coinciding Here the market is hopping investors can find higher yields in the Dow than in dumpy Treasury securities Interest rates aren’t likely to stay anywhere near 82 percent and this is probably a one time spike Jesus in the 1980s Treasury bond interest careened to over 15 percent Bonds paid over 8 percent as recently as 1991This was my fifth Shriver novel and possibly my last She’s getting a little bit too obvious


  2. says:

    Will try and keep it briefFive main issues three big two small1 Previously covered material2 Finance3 Too many characters4 Sci fi5 The future of the novel1 So Much For That did healthcare Big Brother did uncomfortable house guests A Perfectly Good Family did inheritance all this comes back with weaker insights than before2 External forces can be an interesting device if they sometimes enter a story to create havoc hurricanes floor opens up to lava pit asteroid kills lover etc But here's the thing the global financial crisis in this book is not the fault of the families detailed within Bad to worse is a legitimate plot structure but that's not what we have with bad to worse someone in the narrative is making things worse actively Some external force creating bad things the whole time is dull What can anyone in the story do about it? Nothing What did they do to set off the forces? Nothing Then why the fuck are we with them at all? Hopefully not looking for story right?We're at an interesting time in storytelling stories about contemporary financial fuckery are essential but nobody knows how to tell them The Big Short? Minimal detective work at the beginning where one of the characters works out that there will be a financial crisis Then it happens Also we follow many characters who I mean I don't know if they don't influence events there's nothing to follow And so few storytellers get this Spotlight did the same thing interesting events no story No story no film Plot is not trivial people And the thing about The Big Short the thing about so many things sigh I feel like the inventions of postmodernism were hard won imaginative leaps Things like breaking the 4th wall like describing the type of story your story is not going to be The problem is these things are used by people who don't have hard won imaginative achievements In The Big Short Ryan Gosling looks into the camera and says something like 'You'll see me again later' when he's in one of the opening scenes and you're like 'I must be in safe hands these storytellers are so confident' But they pure ain't they just like the effect of confident storytelling but they don't have the skill to back it up Guaranteed someone in a production meeting said The Wolf of Wall Street meets something right? Whatever At least The Big Short took the time to explain complicated financial terms to me in an entertaining manner When Shriver deigned to grace me with some explanation it was that kinda 'Hey If I put it in dialogue it isn't an essay' style Fiction is the one that didn't happen3 At some point a character points out that there are 13 people living in one house as a result of financial hardship this is less than halfway into a 400 page novel That's not long enough to characterise 13 people enough for me to care about them The death of millions is just a statistic is one of the things novels are fighting against not something they should give into That's why there's so many WWII novels right? All the shit we cannot shart or something?4 I'm not that bothered by Shriver's sci fi naivety but yes this novel is sci fi I read some early blurb about this one where it said This is not Blade Runner Because of this and some comment about Ridley Scott in Big Brother I'm inclined to believe Shriver's last encounter with sci fi was the original release of Blade Runner That's fine I guess Even I'm learning now how broad a field sci fi is But yeah this novel takes place from 2029 2047 those haven't happened at time of publication It's technically sci fi But sci fi doesn't have to mean anything in particular It doesn't give me any expectations or needs that label Any good genre writer so few defines what is the genre they write in Great writers defy expectations they don't ask for them to be lowered5 Who gives a fuck? We should never burden the reader with what I consider a trite footnote relevant only to the occasional writer I WRITE novels and I don't care about the future of THE novel The future of MY novels is bright innovative and fills me with enthusiasm therein end my abilities responsibilities where THE novel is concerned Future of the novel was cute when Samuel Delany was writing about it in Nova in the 60s I think Cute but still kinda dullIn this novel the character Enola is Lionel Shriver Enola lives to 103 So forget what Shriver thinks about banking Don't buy her apparent pessimism She's just like us where we alone are concerned we think everything will be rosy Maybe sometimes it's healthy to have that shaken but maybe it's an essential component of being aliveSo let's dance


  3. says:

    Music The Smiths Back To The Old Housemy pinterest page created for this book SPOILERS It's 2029 Five years after 'Stonage' when all electricity was lost for a long time the US national debt finally wipes out the dollar causing chaos for years We follow the story of the Mandible family already declining family rich due to some ancestors' engine designs how it lost pretty much almost everything except some glasses and silver knives how it survived and how it changed The book is of two parts 2029 and about three years after that told from a handful of POVs and 2047 told from the POV of Willing Mandible born DarklyIt's a story of and withmoney and economy how people react to the dollar crash and deal with it long after all the forms of money how it changes not just the role of America but of other countries as well how the family fortune can disappear and reappear how the role of money changes relationships within the family even when there's none at all This book really makes you think about money lolfood and drink Lots of alcohol mentioned how people deal with food commit crime to find food grow their food make money with food what the attitudes and skills of people are when it comes to foodwork How hard do they have to work how many jobs they need to do how some jobs grow in importance how some disappear Bots called also 'robs' doing many jobsthe elderly Keepers of money source of work blamed for miseries being miserable in poverty after the economic crash foreign ones being sent to US to be taken care of view spoilerthe spooky bunker of dead elders with well stocked cupboards of stuff needed for their health hide spoiler


  4. says:

    The Buck StopsLionel Shriver's new novel The Mandibles A Family 2029 2047 is captivating and at the same time a humorous and chilling work of speculative fiction Early on one of Shiver's characters in referencing the works 2001 A Space Odyssey and 1984 says Plots set in the future are about what we fear in the present They're not about the future at all Since this particular character turns out to be extremely wrong about a lot of things I take this as a wink to the reader that Shriver believes that many of her dire predictions about the economic future of the US may indeed become true We'll seeThe Mandibles begins in 2029 100 years since the crash of 1929 In what is later called The Great Renunciation the president who is a Lat of Latin descent calls for the renunciation all US debt and defaults on all foreign debt Invoking the International Emergency Powers Act of 1977 it's real he calls for all gold to be confiscated Blame is placed on nebulous hostile foreign entities who have tried to replace the dollar with the bancor The President in addition to recalling all gold including jewelry and dental work from every citizen has ordered the military to do a door to door search for hoarded gold and for those responsible to be fined and imprisoned In addition the US has reset all US Treasury bonds to zero and inflation has driven the price of a scarce head of cabbage up to 30 Some folks are happy that the uber rich or the 1% ers are falling like dominoes seeing it as finally a way to erase the vast economic disparities The US starts printing now almost worthless money by the truckload though with the toilet paper scarcity well you can imagine what happensThe novel revolves around the eponymous Mandible family founded by wealthy grandfather Douglas Mandible aka Grand Man His oldest granddaughter Florence lives in Flatbush NY with her teen aged son Willing no kidding and her lover Esteban Florence is highly educated Barnard but can only find work processing cases in a homeless shelter Her son Willing is the only one who seems to grasp what is happening to the economy but of course no one listens to him he's just a kid Florence's younger sister Avery a pseudo psychotherapist is married to Lowell a professor of economics at Georgetown They have three children Savannah Goog and Bing yep named after search engines Avery is used to the good life and now finds that she can't even afford olive oil It's a long way down Lowell has a particularly difficult time accepting the economic realities that don't match up with his economic theoriesShriver's fictional future is full of interesting and humorous possibilities Putin is still in power dictator of Russia Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for president necessitating the 28th Amendment reuiring the President to be born on American soil to be nullified Judge Judy was appointed to the Supreme Court which made cases much shorter Also in 2024 the entire infrastructure of the US electricity water The Internet gasp was shut down for three weeks and chaos ensued China was blamed no proof ever attained Journalism is dead no source can be trusted I'd say that's already happened I don't want to give away too many of Shriver's treats so that you can savor all the ironies yourself but one about Mexico and a wall is particularly bitingShriver is in her element with her sterling wit scathing satire and stunning irony This is the kind of novel you'll want to talk with people about so I highly recommend it for any Book Club with nerves of steel because it's going to stir up some fervent feelings about race class money guns and trust in the government It couldn't be coming out at a auspicious moment in US history


  5. says:

    Audiobookread by George Newbernwho was animated great “Good Morning Fellow American’s”“Mom Alvarado is on in a minute” President Alvarado“That’s okay sweetie shouting from the kitchen I’ll watch it later” And why didn’t mom want to hear the president speak? Like many Americans she found Government business economic details boringHauntil it affected her family ‘big time’ During the State of the union speech American’s learn that no than a 100 per family was allowed to leave the country Temporarybut the right call to action in the state of emergency The American dollar was worthless The dollar sliding to the penny had barely been noticeable because the government had been doing the same thing The world was drowning in worthless paper Lionel Shriver’s satire in part political thriller following an apocalyptic textured family “The Mandibles” about the apocalyptic economy was impressive mostly focusing on the collapse of America in the futureWe meet a full cast of ugly ducklings There is a fairly large cast of characters each dealing with decline of the economy in their own way Only a couple of the characters likable Much is funnybut scary funnyMuch was fascinatingbut scary fascinatingMuch went over my headbut not so scary I simply fell asleep in the parts I didn’t understandBut one thing remains constant there is no romance in poverty Frightening how plausible this novel is with shortages of food toiletries medicine housing employment internet availability freedom and terrorismNotefor those who have been following the news on Elizabeth Holmes the decline of Theranos deceiving investors by massive fraud through massive exaggerated claims about the accuracy of her blood testing technologyI thought about Holmes at one point while listening to this book The woman with the deep voice who doesn’t blinkshe’s given me the creepy willies in ways this novel gives us a contextual overview of a broken down society


  6. says:

    There are so few few books I've dnfed so close to the end which shows they achieve a special kind of badness This is one of the most painful books I've ever attempted the characters are totally flat moral spiritual values nonexistent every episode uniformly dreary It's a shame because I expect the author's basic economic and social beliefs are pretty close to mine the dystopia she creates with a 77% rate of income tax and the United States reduced to the level of a third world country likely enough The response of all the characters to their narrow economic straits spelled 'straights' in this book is passive selfish I kept reflecting that people in Britain between 1940 1950 lived a greater level of austerity than any of these characters saved civilisation in its darkest hour I had felt guilty that I'd never read a book by Lionel Shriver especially as she has won distinguished prizes But on the basis of this book I'd have to conclude she is a total cynic nihilist


  7. says:

    UPDATE The following review from 2016 shows how close Shriver's dystopian vision was in light of the current Coronavirus outbreak note the prescient toilet roll panic buyingIT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID Or Complex systems collapse catastrophically”I decided to re read this the twelfth novel by one of my favourite authors while reflecting on the current doom mongering about the state of the world – basically to reassure myself that things could be much much worseIn this novel set in the year 2029 Shriver describes an economic dystopia in the USA where the collapse of the dollar leads to hyperinflation and the breaking of the social contract by governmental mismanagement However Shriver's anti authoritarian inclination is revealed by the neat little touch of including the EU in the economic meltdown the Union has dissolved and the euro is replaced by local currencies such as the ‘nouveau franc’The story follows four generations of the upper middle class Mandible family once cushioned by inherited wealth but now facing financial ruin as their fortune is wiped out and everyday living becomes a matter of basic survival Shriver’s sharp social satire is laced with black humour and irony sparing no hideous detail in her unflinching depiction of the ‘horrors' that lie in wait eg toilet paper is so scarce that the family must employ re usable ‘ass napkins’ insteadLionel Shriver has been referred to as the Cassandra of American letters owing to her prescient speculative fiction – set not too far in the distant future but with a immediate dateline which helps to increase the reader’s uneasy feeling of ‘this could happen to me’ I hope she is wrong this time but nevertheless I am going to stock up on toilet paper


  8. says:

    This book tells the tale of the economic collapse in the US in 2029 Cabbage is 20 a head The robots were once called “bots” but they’ve taken over so many jobs they’re now called “robs” Showers are taken once a week to save water There’s a new global currency the “bancor” The US President announces that the government is defaulting on all loans Banks shut down and accounts are frozen Inflation is out of control leading to chaos The government demands that citizens turn over all gold to them Unfortunately this whole story is far too believableGreat Grand Man is 97 years old The Mandible family and there are a lot of family members is waiting for him to die so they can inherit his sizeable fortune But now not only has that fortune vanished but they must struggle to survive A new world is born and the author does a fabulous job of describing the changes There is a truly chilling scene of the army coming into a home with metal detectors searching for hidden gold with the threat of prison and a 250000 fine should they find any The book takes the family through to 2047 where what’s left of the family ends up in the United States of NevadaThis is written as a satire and with a dry wit It’s a very clever book I chose this book because I thought “We Need to Talk About Kevin” was such a powerful book so I was anxious to read her newest effort This is a very different type of book Although I’ve read reviews saying that the book is slow to start I enjoyed the first uarter of the story very much but by the time I was half way through I began to lose interest I thought the book went on far too long and had made its point early on and the rest was just repetitive The author does such an excellent job in detailing human reaction to these disturbing events that I wish she could have curbed some of the social commentary and long financial lessons that just seemed to bog the book downThis book was given to me by the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review


  9. says:

    Lionel Shriver I decided is essayist than novelist Though I loved loved loved We Need to Talk About Kevin and I definitely appreciated The Post Birthday World the rest of her books have felt like glorified and often sanctimonious rants that are frankly annoying to readThe Mandibles is a finance driven treatise about a new kind of apocalypse rather than zombies or religious uprising the new president defaults on America's loans and now there is a scarcity to everything and the whole world loses it Shriver conveniently has an economics professor cast in her novel as well as a precocious child who knows a lot about you guessed it finance to make sure we can have info dump after info dump to move the plot along The characters didn't mean all that much to me and so their suffering didn't eitherWhile Shriver's wit and appreciation of irony were present in the work this did little to compensate for a slog of contrived dialogue and agenda heavy narrative The plotline itself often escaped and at times felt rather overblown I am not sure who the intended audience is here but it sure isn't me


  10. says:

    As always Shriver's books are challenging harsh and thought provoking I found some of the financial detail a bit hard going and it's hardly a feel good book but it was darkly funny at times and I would recommend