Novel hits all the tropes of economic crisis

Towards the end of Lionel Shriver’s new novel, The Mandibles, Willing Mandible tells his novelist aunt that her books feel “like ancient history. It was hard to identify with the characters… They make decisions because they’re in love, or they’re angry, or they want adventure. You never know how they afford their houses. They never decide not to do something because it costs too much… you never find out how much these characters pay in taxes.”Shriver’s book does the opposite. Set in the aftermath of a complete American financial collapse (the U.S. dollar has been replaced by a new international

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