The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

We’ve recently re-read a book that seems to be a thinly veiled satire of our current White House administration. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil is a novella about a not-very-bright demagogue who suddenly develops an insatiable appetite for power. (Heard this one before?) The author is the great George Saunders, one of America’s wittiest and most poignant satirists, and he wrote “Phil” in 2005. Today, twelve years later, this tale seems more of-the-moment than breaking cable news — and it’s a lot funnier. This book, as the jacket copy notes, is deeply strange and strangely familiar. But at least it’s fiction.

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