The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil: Book summary and reviews of The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil by George Saunders

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

By George Saunders

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2005,
    144 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

'It's entertaining, but politics and war don't really work that way, allegorically or otherwise. - PW
'For those who appreciate speculative, experimental fiction, a mind-bending work inviting readers to ponder the nature of parable and the possibilities of language.' - Kirkus

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Author Information

George Saunders Author Biography

Photo: Caitlin Saunders

George Saunders is well known for his inventive use of language; perhaps his willingness to explore and exploit the forms and function of language derives in part from his earlier career, as a geophysical engineer. Saunders credits his early exposure to the works of Ayn Rand (some of the first fiction he recalls reading) with his decision to enter the field of engineering in college. "I read [her books] and I thought that's what I want to do," Saunders said in an interview with Guernica, "I want to be one of the earth movers, the scientific people who power the world. And I don't want to be one of these lisping liberal artsy leeches." Soon after getting his degree from the Colorado School of Mines, Saunders was traveling the world - including an extended stay in Sumatra - doing site ...

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