Burning Desire For FIRE

Financial-Independence-Retire-Early(er). Achieved the first two letters of FIRE, now onto the rest!

Lessons from Literature 6: The Mandibles: A Family 2029 – 2047.

The Mandibles: A Family 2029 – 2047 by Lionel Shriver is one of the novels I was reading when I was away in North Korea and China. Kind of ironic, really, because it deals with what happens when the US government runs out of money to service their trillions of dollars worth of loans and defaults. Guess which country rises up to take advantage of the situation?

This is a relatively slow moving but gripping read. We see through the eyes of one reasonably privileged family what happens as their society gradually unravels at the seams. Shriver has clearly done her homework on how financial markets work and the implications and consequences when things start to turn pear-shaped. Most of us in the FI/RE community have started to scrape together a working knowledge of how the financial world works – you’ll find this novel VERY interesting indeed.

I loved it. I found it scary as hell, though the little titbits she puts in about other countries are very clever, particularly what happens to Australia and Japan. I think I gave it a 5-star review on Goodreads – it’s well worth using the link I gave at the beginning of this post to pop across and buy it. (I don’t get anything from it – I just provided it as a resource for Aussie readers. US readers will find it at Amazon.com)

I’ve put out another blog post on my trip, for those who are interested.

Day 2: Beijing. 


  1. I’ve not heard of this book, but now I’m intrigued!

  2. I love this book. How they become increasingly frugal/desperate. Very interesting how the different family members cope. Also there is a big where the mention the us intervening in the war in NZ!!
    If I’m feeling spendy, this book is great to reset myself!
    But the worst bit, global warming has destroyed coffee crops!!! Noooooo

  3. Fabulous book, so realistic.We have lived in very privileged times!!

  4. Have you read Shriver’s So Much For That? I found it an interesting read, from a FIRE perspective. Interesting in itself, too.

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