• The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047

  • By: Lionel Shriver
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 05-12-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • 4.4 (22 ratings)

Regular price: $18.32

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Publisher's Summary

The brilliant new novel from the Orange Prize-winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin centres on three generations of the Mandible family as a fiscal crisis hits a near-future America.
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 unrecognisable. 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.
©2016 Lionel Shriver (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
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Critic Reviews

Praise for Lionel Shriver: "Shriver proves she is not afraid of anything...." (Observer)
"It's a wonder that subject matter on the surface so bleak can be transformed into something so uplifting." (Daily Telegraph)
"You can rely on Lionel Shriver to upend your expectations." (Daily Express)
"Required reading for all mortals." (Daily Mail)
"...witty, observant and beautifully controlled." (Literary Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Mark H. Sutherland on 04-16-17

Dystopian, Compelling, Entertaining.

What did you love best about The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047?

It was compelling and credible. Given that the backdrop to the story was economic, and that the characters experienced life in a way very different to our own, this was no mean feat.

What did you like best about this story?

Two things: The author mastered the material to extent that it was convincing and effortless. The authentic detail illustrating how our world could lead to the world of the Mandibles.

What does George Newbern bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His narration was the "authentic voice" telling the story. Like the author, he didn't get in the way of the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Shriver explains money. A creation of humans that reflects the essence of humanity.

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By Batman on 08-12-16

What a great read!

Loved the story. Shriver has a gift for portraying economic climate through human interactions and his storytelling has a welcoming humour beneath the harshness of the situations.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Linda on 06-07-16

A dreary disappointment

I hate to give bad reviews - and hate to abandon a book, but halfway through chapter 2 I just can't face the thought of listening any more. The manner in which we are being introduced to the characters is so drearily done that no-one's name or position in the family clan properly registers - and nor do the descriptions of the changes in technology and way of life in this near future world. Perhaps everything gathers momentum as the story progresses but I just don't have the commitment to give it a go. For me it was a great idea wasted.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By wolfgoesshopping on 06-28-16

Disappointed

What was most disappointing about Lionel Shriver’s story?

It is frustrating when a dystopian novel uses the present day as the past, and then skips forward 15 years to a new future but with no bridge of events on the way. The book is murky and confused.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By Anne Harvey on 01-11-17

Boring boring boring

The story line seems promising but this was one of the most boring books I've listened to. The narrator droned on in an uninterested voice, the characters were flat and one dimensional and I thought it would never end.
I am so annoyed at wasting my time (hoping it would get better) that it has prompted me to write my first review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Tipster on 03-15-17

Chillingly plausible

Anyone doubting that western nations must stop kicking addressing national fiscal deficits down the road or that 2008 was a warning that has been largely disregarded should read this brilliantly crafted story.

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