The Mandibles a family 2027-2049

30 June 2016

‘We need to talk about Kevin’ is one of my favourite books, a harrowing look at gun culture in the US as well as the role of Motherhood. Its ending was positively devastating.

Since ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ Lionel Shriver has become one of America’s best fictional satirists, looking at the big issues facing her country with a very black sense of humour that has developed greatly since that first book.

In the Mandibles she turns her attention and that black sense of humour to the American Economy. The Mandibles are a well off family, many of who are waiting patiently for the patriarch to pass away so they can inherit his vast fortune. As the economy crashes, when Russia convinces most of the rest of the world the US dollar is not a viable reserve currency and starts its own, the Mandible fortune disappears. This then causes each of the different members of the family to have to struggle to survive in a not only collapsing economy but a collapsing society.

I loved this book, at times the economic detail got a bit dense but the characters are wonderfully drawn (even if you dislike them) and the humour, amongst the depressingly all to plausible scenario, was at times, laugh out loud. This is well worth a read if even just to speculate on its possibilities.

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