Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £14.49

Buy Now for £14.49

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

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

What listeners say about The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    133
  • 4 Stars
    77
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    10
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    132
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    125
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    8

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Epic economic meltdowns of the near future

If, like me, you came to this book because you're a huge fan of We Need to Talk About Kevin, expect your expectations to be confounded. But while the subject matter is completely different, the brilliant observation and spine-tingling narrative tension mean you will not be disappointed. As you would expect from Lionel Shriver, the characters are richly drawn and the slow-building suspense is compelling, but what I really love about this book is the way it takes real issues of the modern world - inherited riches, family politics and economic meltdown - and tweaks them to convincingly terrifying visions of the near future. Our present day is the book's immediate past, marked by schools named after Barack Obama and Ed Balls' cameo as UK prime minister, among others. It's a brilliant listen, but also a warning.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

a bit of a dissappointment.

a rather hollow argument against a social welfare state, it reads a bit like Ayn Rand - where there is an idealogical point to be made about selfish individualism which means that there is no real critique of the state as a monopoly, on violence but as a poor redistributor of wealth. It is more of a prepper's fantasy than a well researched prediction of how the world might be as the near future unfolds. the readers poor pronounciation of any word beyond a 13 year old reading level grates and I have no idea why any author would allow an audio book reading to be published without better direction.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring, tedious

This book was recommended to me. I’m so sorry I started it as I always want to finish what I start, however in this case I gave up about four hours before the end, I just couldn’t take anymore. Perhaps a financial enthusiast might fine it interesting!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding!!!

props to writer and narrator
series could be epic. though would struggle to do it justice!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A harrowing look into the near future.

Loved it from beginning to end. Some bits drag from characters explaining the plot to eachother, but it can be over looked.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Straight into my All Time Top Ten!

A brilliantly imagined story of events that, right now, seem all too probable. Spoil yourself!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting

A very interesting look into a possible future, reasonably weighted and performed (read) in a fashion that didnt add unnecessary drama.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Our possible future

Thanks Lionel excellent work !
Was recommended to me by James Rickards after reading his new book called Aftermath

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Louco por audiolivros
  • Louco por audiolivros
  • 06-09-18

Lionel é a melhor

Espero com ansiedade o aparecimento de cada título da Lionel na Audible. Amo todos. Este é inesquecível. Um futuro surpreendente. Muito bem gravado.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark H. Sutherland
  • Mark H. Sutherland
  • 16-04-17

Imaginative and engrossing

This was an imaginative and engrossing book. I hope it doesn’t come to pass, but who knows? The author deserves high praise for warning us of what may be ahead.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Batman
  • Batman
  • 12-08-16

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.