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The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    George Saunders(Author)

    Book details


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novel Lincoln in the Bardo and the story collection Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

In a profoundly strange country called Inner Horner, large enough for only one resident at a time, citizens waiting to enter the country fall under the rule of the power-hungry and tyrannical Phil, setting off a chain of injustice and mass hysteria.

An Animal Farm for the 21st century, this is an incendiary political satire of unprecedented imagination, spiky humor, and cautionary appreciation for the hysteric in everyone. Over six years in the writing, and brilliantly and beautifully packaged, this novella is Saunders' first stand-alone, book-length work--and his first book for adults in five years.

Praise for George Saunders:"An astoundingly tuned voice--graceful, dark, aunthentic, and funny--telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times."--Thomas Pynchon "Mr. Saunders writes like the illegitamate offspring of Nathanael West and Kurt Vonnegut. His satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it is also ferocious and very funny."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times" "A master of distilling the disorders of our time into fiction."--Salon.comPraise for George Saunders: "An astoundingly tuned voice--graceful, dark, aunthentic, and funny--telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times."--Thomas Pynchon "Mr. Saunders writes like the illegitamate offspring of Nathanael West and Kurt Vonnegut. His satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it is also ferocious and very funny."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times" "A master of distilling the disorders of our time into fiction."--Salon.comPraise for George Saunders: "An astoundingly tuned voice--graceful, dark, aunthentic, and funny--telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times."--Thomas Pynchon "Mr. Saunders writes like the illegitamate offspring of Nathanael West and Kurt Vonnegut. His satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it is also ferocious and very funny."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "A master of distilling the disorders of our time into fiction."--Salon.comPraise for George Saunders:

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Book details

  • PDF | 134 pages
  • George Saunders(Author)
  • Riverhead Books (6 Sept. 2005)
  • English
  • 8
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Review Text

  • By Narwhal on 16 September 2017

    This is a stunning short story collection, and although it was written a few years ago it's incredibly relevant to today's politics, particularly in the states. There are some real thought provoking tales in here, and while it doesn't have the emotional impact of some of Saunders' work (such as Tenth of December), it's a masterful collection by a truly great writer, and will leave you thinking for days. I recommend reading a story at a time - ie reading one, then something else, then going back to the collection - to really appreciate the impact.

  • By penguni on 28 November 2015

    An interesting book, well written, interesting cover. Would read again.

  • By Lizzo on 3 December 2015

    You need to read all of George Saunders stuff. You owe it to yourself.

  • By Guardian of the Scales on 25 June 2009

    This volume comprises the novella "The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil" and the collection of short stories "In Persuasion Nation.""The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil" concerns a conflict between the States of Outer Horner and Inner Horner. The inhabitants of these states are never fully described but appear to be part mechanical, part biological.We are told that Phil's brain sits on a rack in his head, and has a tendency to fall out. Phil is the de facto, and later official, leader of the Outer Hornerites; although Phil is clearly of low intelligence,he uses his more assertive and domineering personality to incite hatred among his people against the Inner Hornerites, whose gentle nature and numerical inferiority make them easy targets. Phil's frequent misuse of language(e.g. "Arrest this invaderment") brings to mind a certain ex-US president. The story appears to be some manner of political allegory, a la Animal Farm."In Persuasion Nation" conists of 12 shorter stories. Some of the best include: "The Red Bow" about how a rabid dog bites a young girl, who dies, and how the community reacts;"Christmas", which reads like a biographical episode, different in tone from most of Saunders' stories; and "93990", about drug-testing on monkeys, which reads like a journalistic piece, perhaps it is, but it makes a powerful impact, in any case.Some of the funnier stories include "In Persuasion Nation" and "Commcomm". Many of the stories also ridicule the consumerist culture of modern society.I came to this collection after being greatly impressed by another Saunders' collection "Pastoralia" (particularly the title story, one of the few things I have read that have made me laugh uncontrollably- a real classic). Overall, I liked this collection slightly less than "Pastoralia, but I still liked it. Slightly less funny, but still quite funny. The satirical element is more pronounced, but Saunders is always tender and empathetic, even to the characters he ridicules. It is not an oversimplification to say that the basic point of all Saunders' stories is: "Be nice to people(or animals)." With such a message the greatest danger is a descent into sentimentality, but Saunders only occasionally verges on this. Mostly, this is a very warm, readable and funny collection, and the satire contained therein is sharp and well-founded. I definitely plan on further acquainting myself with Saunders' work.

  • By mrsgwyllt on 30 November 2011

    Science fiction? Satire? Fantasy? I don't know but I do know that it had many laugh-out-loud-dig-my-husband-in-the -ribs-and-make-him-listen moments. I read it all in about half and would recommend it to anyone who likes clever language and fun!

  • By gina's mom on 14 January 2014

    I'd read an interesting and very well written article about Saunders so I decided to buy a few of his books from Amazon.I made a big mistake.His style is pompous, and now I think the article was better written than Saunders' stories.___Edited the review under suggestion. Seems like you can't maintain and express the same opinion about a writer.

  • By Tony Hyland on 23 January 2017

    Always fascinated by the forms short stories take and Saunders Is certainly a radical short story writer but it's so hard to really engage with these tales-funny in parts,tragic in parts-compulsive reading,no.....

  • By J M on 4 October 2013

    It takes a little while to get into this story, but it is a funny little story with a twist around how power can effect different people in different ways.


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