The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil
By George Saunders
Riverhead Books, Paperback, 9781594481529, 134pp.
Publication Date: September 2005
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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.