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.
It’s a toss up whether my dread comes from reading too many newspapers, or too many novels. In real-life 2050, the human population may peak at 10.2 billion, and we’ll run short of fresh water. But in fiction, the catastrophes that lie in wait are infinite. In T C Boyle’s A Friend of the Earth (2000), it’s either raining all day or unbearably hot; food is rubbish; most animals are extinct – all in 2025. Look, pal. That’s nine years from now.
Author’s viewpoint from The Telegraph
3.7 rating based on 9,137 ratings (all editions)
Author(s): Publisher: The Borough Press
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 all.
The 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 U.S. 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 eyes.
As 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.