Lionel Shriver || The Mandibles

The Mandibles is a dystopia. In a few years the US of A will go broke, shares and bonds will become worthless, money cannot be printed quick enough. The Mandible family is one of those families suffering from the consequences. Going from (extremely) wealthy to penniless (or rather dollar cents-less) in a few months time. No longer spacious houses, nice bottles of wine and excellent food, they are forces to live together in one small house and have to eat whatever is available in one of the rather empty stores, running the risk all the time of being robbed or forced to leave their small home. Family members deal differently with their worsening circumstances. One just keeps going on, another becomes a zealous survivor, the professor in Economy keeps on saying that things will get better again and one of them turns out to be a natural, realistic leader. Shriver shows how the USA change into one of those countries that provide cheap labour, former immigrants return to their prosperous home countries, property and companies are being bought by foreign companies, the US’ youth is doomed to work in tedious and ill-paid jobs. All of this could have become an interesting novel, something I did expect from the author of the rather brilliant We Need To Talk About Kevin. The Mandibles unfortunately never comes near the depth of that novel. The family members remain clichés, all doing what is expected from their stereotype. None of them shows an interesting, deviating development. Shriver for some reason felt that she had to add loads and loads of financial and economic information which made me feel I was reading The Financial Times, which I to be honest avoid. I am sorry to say I was not impressed by The Mandibles, family nor novel.



About booksandliliane

I am an avid reader and love to share my love for literature. I have my own opinion on books that have been shortlisted, laureated by critics or are pushed on us by bookstores. I will try and explain why I like or do not like a book. Hopefully influencing you in your choice of books to read.
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