The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil PDF/EPUB º

10 thoughts on “The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

  1. karen karen says:

    ida know i love george saunders but this one was just too lightweight for me i wish i could just stand behind anything george saunders did but i must remain objective and trustworthy because of the importance of goodreadscom reviews

  2. Jakob J. Jakob J. says:

    Personal PrefaceI will begin with something that is sure to become dated very uickly but the date on which the review is posted can be seen in the top right corner of the review anyway like a school paper so I suppose it can become an electronic time capsule as everything already is on the internet So far not much I said to myself after asking what I’ve accomplished this night I'm having one of my strange vibes even though vibes are abstract concepts Vines aren’t they’re tangible but vibes aren’t real and yet I hang from them It’s all very difficult to explain but I feel as if I’m in a tasteless scatological motion picture that inundates me with shame for being human and with poop You see I have been reading reviews for an execrable execremental? film called Movie 43 which stars such class acts as Oscar winners Kate Winslet and Halle Berry among butt loads of others I couldn’t possibly be as offended over the content of the film as I already am that I would be expected to laugh at it I won’t see the film that Richard Roeper called the Citizen Kane of awful not because he said so but because I know their publicity stunt is to lure people into wondering how far it could really go However like watching as a child Celebrity Deathmatch or Mad TV’s reimagining of Rudolph it is clear that just reading about this movie exemplifies my theory of personal aesthetic masochism I don’t need to say it again about assaulting boundaries but laughing at female humiliation like when a friend of a friend tells a racist joke is not something I am euipped to oblige My raised ire shall be signified by an eyebrow that does the same and a subseuent slow sip from my drink all while staring at the goon On top of this the scorching oil in my engine fills my car with smoke and I am nauseous with olfactory offenses which deepen the rot of the most absurd existential crisis I have ever encountered With my senses aflutter and my head spinning objects falling out of vision from one side only to reappear still descending from the other think Super Mario Brothers 3 for original Nintendo my inner world with comparably only so wide a circumference and cyclicalI couldn’t possibly focus on intellectual essays or dedicate myself to advancing in the novels I’m reading To still my fingers and uiet my mind I grab the shortest book within reach which happens to be by a writer who has been prevalent in my thoughts recently I’m speaking of Ayn Rand’s former lover George Saunders Okay Here’s the Review Now So if You Were About to AbscondGeorge Saunders is a genius and he received a grant for so being This techno fantastical Animal Farm reminiscent tale is by turns hilarious and prescient A tiny province known as Inner Horner which can only harbor one individual at a time is dug into and so a life form toppling into the surrounding province Outer Horner is akin to an invasion And so Phil the malcontent with peremptory ambitions hatches the plan to tax this intruder who cannot fit in his own land for entering theirs illegally and we can see where things might escalate form there Not surprising from one who declared that “God the Almighty gave us this beautiful sprawling land as a reward for how wonderful we are God Almighty gave them that small crappy land for reasons of His own” Patriots with good intentions an obedient border guard and muscle bound meatheads who thrive on occasional compliments are easily persuaded to do the bidding of one power grabbing being; made all the easier due to a forgetful negligent and nostalgic president—who would long for each moment after it passed and long for when he longed for each moment gone—with a mirror faced advisor symbolism? Where? Days of infamy or valor according to Phil would be commemorated using ludicrous labels eg Dark Dark Thursday aka Amazing Heroic Thursday Phase I of the Review Space Area Improvement Initiative is CompleteI think the best endowment in this book is its implementation of hysterically pathetic euphemisms in socio political language Here is a uick multiple choice uestion Which of the following terms do you suppose is used as a satirical term for confinement andor torture andor oppression in this story? A Concentration Camp B Enhanced Interrogation Techniue CLiuidation and Relocation or D Peace Encouraging Enclosure? Of course anyone with any amount of historical education knows that answer but is one of them ridiculous than the others? Not by much “Working crosswise to my bold national fate interdicted my glorious and due to nefarious all grand uplift purposes crash down flags droop crowds go home”This is a wonderful piece exposing Nationalistic tautology and incoherence and indeed a suggestion against attitudes that could lead to colossal errors in decisions and discourse about which the media would retrospectively claim they warned us It is also a portrait of innate barbarism and tribalism and paranoia It also explains why we Americans don’t always get as much pleasure from drinking our coffee as we should but immediately important it was what I needed to calm my nerves after an anxiety attack involving feeling like a disgusting claymation character cracking apart in stop motion increments

  3. Darwin8u Darwin8u says:

    “Our country is big let us be big” George SaundersThis novella is one part Animal Farm one part Gulliver's Travels Part parable part satire it is not to give to much of too little away a short novella about border disputes leadership the media and standing up to oppression It was published in 2005 under the GWB administration but feels because of global border disputes relevant today in 2019 than even it was in 2005 It is cute at times funny uick and narratively interesting It just isn't Saunders great It is a minor moon and not even a planet in his solar system But still it is a lush full moon at that

  4. Jon Jon says:

    The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil is a satire and political allegory that I picked up a few weeks ago not knowing how prophetic it was going to turn out to be In this surrealistic novella Phil an opportunist and demagogue takes control of the nation of Outer Horner by appealing to nationalistic feelings and scapegoating immigrantsThe world in the story is bizarre and surreal Inside the country of Outer Horner lies Inner Horner a nation so small that it can only hold one citizen at a time The remaining citizens wait patiently in Outer Horner for their turn while confined in the Short Term Residency Zone located next to the border Then one day Inner Horner suddenly shrinks forcing 34ths of it’s current resident over the border into Outer Horner uickly inserting himself into this crisis Phil attempts to take advantage of the situation in order to seize powerThe bizarreness of the story extends to the characters themselves The people in the story are human in actions and behavior but very non human in appearance “the President was a small but impressive man consisting of a jumble of bellies white mustaches military medals and dignified double chins all borne magnificently about on three wobbly legs” Many of the other characters are machine like and one is described as resembling a “gigantic belt buckle with a blue dot affixed to it if a gigantic belt buckle with a blue dot affixed to it had been stapled to a tuna fish can”The story is savagely satirical and funny in a “Douglas Adams on acid” way “Far East Distant Outer Horner a lush verdant zone where cows’ heads grew out of the earth shouting sarcastic things at anyone who passed which though lush and verdant was unpopulated because the cow’s sarcasm was so withering”The story plays out like some fantastical combination of Animal Farm and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy The satire is sharp enough to draw blood and Saunders has written a subversive political allegory that’s well worth reading in the times we find ourselves in

  5. Nathan "N.R." Gaddis Nathan "N.R." Gaddis says:

    I have had Phil on my list now for years A very long time So long that it first appeared on a list I kept in a Moleskin because I wasn’t on gr just yet I find it on a page which also contains the titles Omega Minor and At Swim Two Boys with a note on the latter “1st edition only prefatory difficult Irish drunkard” I’ve read the prior and acuired the latter in the correct edition Apparently I’m mistaken as to how and why Saunders first got added to my legendary list The context is a bit arbitrary prior pages include lists of Vollmann Theroux Mano ;; following pages find a note about Gibbon plus a list from the ToC of Tom LeClair’s The Art of excess GR Something Happened J R Public Burning WM I write “smile” LETTERS and Always Coming HomeI thought it had originated in my search for that postDFW writer That shortlived list included Eggers I read his first Zadie Smith I’m one shy of completion Nicholson Baker had seen an article claiming Baker the missing link twixt Updike and Dave and this Saunders Be that as it may Phil suggests closer kinship with Leyner than DFW I also have the impression that Larry McCaffery or someone or other had it on one of their list things ; but apparently knot? Why did it take me so long to read this slim volume? Because it is so damn’d expensive Seriously makes RURD WM The Dying Grass ZT and an hd of GR look like christmas pennies New it lists at US13 The Village Bookshop has nearly always had it in stock for something like 895 And it was pretty much always on the shelf But that’s some seriously overpriced shit I know I know Coover does the thing with the microbook too ‘novella’ is the polite word for a hundred sparsely worded pages But with Coover his books are kind of rare so you have to snap them up whenever you see them at whatever price And the Saunders is always everywhere but never for the reasonable price of One Dollar So I hadn’t picked it up yet Then the other day I saw it at a little hole in the wall bookshop for like Eight Bucks and I thought to myself It’s about time I read this thing and this is a nice shop and I’d be willing to donate eight dollars to it because it would seem to need my Eight Bucks so than does The Village Bookshop where I already spend too much moneyso but speaking of The Village Bookshop ; I once went to The Village Bookshop to hear Saunders read from a thing but Saunders had been on Television so much recently that the entire store was packed so I just shrugged walked over to Fiction found the S’s and walked out with Four Volumes of Arno Schmidt at a very reasonable priceSo I spent the Eight Bucks price of a movie ticket and read it Value of seeing an Eight Dollar movie Yes but I’m too cheap to pay that much for a movie either And so but I do recommend you read this little nugget Especially in today’s climate And may the Reign of Trump be truly Brief but please we’ve had enough Frightening already

  6. Mir Mir says:

    Overly obvious political parable featuring six inhabitants of an increasingly impoverished and minuscule nation My favorite part was the Kellerites and their Enjoyment statistics My least favorite aspect was meanie Phil's falling out brain

  7. Jesse Jesse says:

    A horribly failed experiment The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil is thirteen dollars for eighty pages partnered with abstract photos to try and illucidate what is ultimately a too abstract text For someone who adores being challenged I was forced to bite my tongue about never being challenged enough the absolute inaccessibility of this text was mind blowingThe plot itself is water thin A weak attempt at a dogmatic strike once for a socialist formation of democracy arguing in the style but not the skill of Animal Farm against governmental doctrines and identity identifiers the book goes so far as to remove the human element only to forcibly throw it back in the face of the readerSee this is what you are because even oil cans can be so ridiculous If executed better the book would have been maddeningly beautiful Sadly it remains as is

  8. Mattia Ravasi Mattia Ravasi says:

    Video review fiction a la Abbott's Flatland meets Calvino's Cosmicomics As The Times said it's relevant but not too relevant and that's the novella's best asset it clearly shows the absurdity of something but not something so clearly specific as to make this book a political statement It's just a great book instead

  9. Jason Pettus Jason Pettus says:

    Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcentercom I am the original author of this essay as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegallyI had the pleasure of getting to talk with legendary author George Saunders for CCLaP's podcast last week a rare treat given how in demand he is on this latest tour even among the major media; but that meant I had to do some serious cramming in the few weeks leading up to our talk in that I guiltily confess I only became aware of his existence a month ago because of a passionate recommendation from my friend and Chicago science fiction author Mark R Brand with Saunders' new book tour and interview opportunity being merely a fortuitous coincidence And that's because the vast majority of Saunders' output has been short stories while regulars know that my own reading habits veer almost 100 percent to full novels which means he's simply and unfortunately been off my radar this whole time; but of course I'm happy to make room in my life for exuisite short fiction writers once I learn about them see for example my revelation after reading John Cheever for the first time a few years ago which means that I tore through all seven books now of his career in just a few weeks recently so I thought I'd get one large essay posted here about all of them at once instead of doing a separate small review for each bookAnd indeed as I mentioned during the podcast as well like Cheever I think Saunders' work is going to be at its most powerful once his career is over and all the stories collected into one giant volume that a person reads all at once instead of debating the merits of one individual collection over another And in fact this is something else I said in the podcast that I find it fun to think of Saunders' stories as essentially interchangeable tales in one big comic book style shared universe albeit the most f cked up shared universe you'll ever spend time in a possibly post apocalyptic America although whether through slow erosion or one big doomsday event is hard to determine where the only businesses that still thrive are outlandish theme parks designed for the amusement of the now natural betters of our new Mad Max society and staffed by the permanent class of have nots which now includes a large population of genetically modified freaks a place where ghosts are real and magic exists and the new normal is extreme cruelty at all times for all other humans left in the wreckage of a crumbled United States And so if you look at the four story collections that Saunders has now put out 1996's CivilWarLand in Bad Decline 2000's Pastoralia 2006's In Persuasion Nation and this year's Tenth of December you'll see that the vast majority of all these pieces fit at least somewhat into the general paradigm just described although with others that are much realistic in tone but still with the same unbelievable cruelty and darkness many of them set among racially tense situations in eroding post industrial citiesYeah sounds like a big barrel of laughs right? And in fact this was the biggest surprise for me as well when first reading them that Saunders is not just on the stranger side of the bizarro subgenre but is one of the most wrist slashingly depressing authors you will ever find yet this Guggenheim and MacArthur grant winner is regularly on the bestseller lists has appeared on David Letterman and The Daily Show gets published on a steady basis in such hugely mainstream magazines as The New Yorker and G and is adored by literally millions of fans out there many of whom would never open the cover of a book from Eraserhead Press to save their life And that's because Saunders never talks about these things specifically to be depressing but rather as a way of highlighting how important simple humanity is to our lives the simple act of being humane and optimistic about the world which he does not by writing about the humane acts themselves but what a world without them would look like And that's a clever and admirable thing to do because it means he sneaks in sideways to the points he wants to make not beating us over the head but forcing us to really stop and think about what he's truly trying to say to examine why we get so upset when this fundamental humanity is missing from the stories we're reading Ultimately Saunders believes in celebrating life in trying to be as helpful and open minded to strangers as you can in being as positive about the world at large as you can stand; but like the Existentialists of Mid Century Modernism he examines this subject by looking at worst case scenarios and by showing us what exactly we miss out of in life when this positivity and love is goneFor those who are new to CCLaP bizarro is a hard to define term but one we reference here a lot; also sometimes known as gonzo fiction sometimes as The New Weird a lot of it comes from either the wackier or prurient edges of such existing genres as science fiction horror and erotica while some of it is like Hunter S Thompson or William S Burroughs a conceptual cloud of strangeness that has a huge cult following in the world of basement presses and genre conventions as well as such literary social networks as Goodreadscom If you want to think of famous examples think of people like Kathy Acker Mark Leyner Will Self Chuck Palahniuk Blake Butler China Mievilleand uh George SaundersNow of course in all honesty there are also a few clunkers scattered here and there in these collections as well which is simply to be expected in a career that now spans twenty years; and when it comes to the small number of other books he's put out besides story collections I have to confess that I found those to be a much iffier proposition For example there's the 2000 children's book The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip cute enough but as inessential to an adult as any children's book is; then there's his one collection of nonfiction essays 2007's The Braindead Megaphone an uneven compilation of random pieces which includes some real gems one of the best being that G piece mentioned where Saunders is sent George Plimpton style to Dubai and instead of the usual decrying of the ultra rich he is surprisingly charmed by all the vacationing middle class families but that has an eual amount of throwaway pieces done for highly specific commissions; and then there's the only stand alone fiction book of his career so far the 2005 novella The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil which I have to confess is the only thing of Saunders' career that I actively disliked written in the middle of the Bush atrocities it's obviously an attempt to do an Animal Farm style satire about those years but is labored in its execution too on the nose and in general has too much of a uirky for the sake of being uirky vibe the exact thing that can most uickly kill a piece of bizarro fiction But then again we perhaps shouldn't blame Saunders for this; as I've talked about many times here in the past it seems that no indignant artist was able to write satirically about Bush in the middle of the Bush Years without producing an overly obvious ranting screed whether that's Saunders or George Clooney or Michael Moore or Robert Redford No wonder no good books about Nazis came out until after World War Two; as we all learned in the early 2000s it's nearly impossible to actually live under a fascist regime and also be subtle and clever in your critiue of itBut those are all small uibbles of course; Saunders' bread and butter is in his short fiction and I'm convinced that he will eventually be known as one of the best short fiction authors in history joining a surprisingly small list that includes such luminaries as Cheever William Faulkner Eudora Welty GK Chesterton and Plus as a fan of edgy and strange work I'm thrilled that a guy like Saunders is out there serving as a gateway of sorts between mainstream society and an entire rabbithole of basement press bizarro titles that's just waiting for newly inspired fans to tumble down If you're going to pick up your first Saunders book soon go ahead and pick up the newest Tenth of December because it's just as good as all the others and particularly easy to find right now; but I also encourage you to dig deeper into this remarkable author's career and to see just how far he'll pull you into the murky depths of ambiguous morality before coming bobbing back to the surface It's been a true treat to become a fan of his work this year and I urge you to become one as wellOut of 10 Tenth of December 96

  10. Misha Misha says:

    I've been wanting to read something by Saunders for a couple of years now ever since interviewing him when he was planning a local appearance for an annual literary festival Sadly I had no idea who he was at the time and expect I made a bit of an ass of myself in the interview It was during that phase of my life when I was steeped in SFF literature and pretty much nothing else I found this browsing a local indy bookstore the other night and am glad I finally got around to picking up something by Saunders The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil is a nice little satire about politics nationalism xenophobia and oppression If you suint you can see parallels between the narrative and recent current events but really it's of an archetype the kind of thing that could just as easily be set at any point in human history and in any nationThe ending reminded me of one of those old Bugs Bunny cartoons when the pencil wielding hand starts erasing and redrawing and rearranging Bugs and Daffy Perhaps the moral is There's always someone bigger than youTwo things I lovedLife is full of beauty Why fight? Why hate? Learn to Enjoy and you will have no need to fight and no desire to Love life walk in a circle learn to enjoy coffeeThen the massive hands lifted the new people up to a pair of giant indescribable lips and whispered in a fundamentally untranslatable Creator language something that meant approximately THIS TIME BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER REMEMBER EACH OF YOU WANTS TO BE HAPPY AND I WANT YOU TO EACH OF YOU WANTS TO LIVE FREE FROM FEAR AND I WANT YOU TO EACH OF YOU ARE SECRETLY AFRAID YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH BUT YOU ARE TRUST ME YOU AREThat last bit is the kind of religious message I could see myself embracing

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The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil ❮Ebook❯ ➨ The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil Author George Saunders – Book Description Welcome to Inner Horner a nation so small it can only accommodate one citizen at a time The other six citizens must wait their turns in the Short Term Residency Zone of the surroundin and Frightening Kindle Ñ Book Description Welcome to Inner Horner a nation so small it can only accommodate one citizen at a time The other six citizens must wait their turns in the Short Term Residency Zone of the The Brief PDF or surrounding country of Outer Horner It's a long standing Brief and Frightening Reign of MOBI :º arrangement between the fantastical not exactly human citizens of the two countries But when Inner Horner suddenly shrinks forcing three uarters of the citizen then in residence Brief and Frightening MOBI ñ over the border into Outer Horner territory the Outer Hornerites declare an Invasion In Progress having fallen under the spell of the power hungry and demagogic Phil So begins The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil Brief and Frightening Reign of MOBI :º Fueled by Saunders's unrivaled wit outlandish imagination and incisive political sensibility here is a deeply strange yet strangely familiar fable of power and impotence justice and injustice an Animal Farm for our times Praise for George Saunders An astoundingly tuned voice graceful dark authentic and funny telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times Thomas Pynchon Mr Saunders writes like the illegitimate 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 Saloncom.