Updated: Jan 30, 2020
AUTHOR: Michael Wolff
PUBLISHER: Henry Holt & Co.
PUBLISHED DATE: January 5, 2018
Fire and fury reads like a soapy political gossip narrative nonfiction...a real time horror shit show of massive proportions. It is disgusting and delicious and I hate myself for reading it but I had to.
Now....the daily details of the incompetence of the Trump White House are unavoidable. Whether it's my Twitter timeline, Facebook posts, News outlets, television shows...I am inundated with how terrible Trump and his administration are and how nothing seems to be able to stop him from doing all manner of harm to our country. I have read several political books since the election....Hillary Clinton's What Happened, Hacks by Donna Brazile, and The Plot to Hack America by Malcolm Nance...trying to make sense of what in the hell is going in. None of them, not even this book will probably ever help us to make sense of this mess.
This book tries to give a behind the glimpse view of the headlines and sound bites, and it is exactly what you'd expect...or at least what I expect is happening behind the scenes, though somehow not as horrible as I imagine. This is definitely the book to read right now, especially if you are not tuned into the chaotic and disorganized mess that is the Trump administration. If you, like me, have had enough...you could probably skip it. Only few things I could take away that I hadn't already gleaned from Twitter thinkpieces, threads, and have already seen so many times, I don't know remember where I first saw it anymore.
Wolff's description of Jared Kushner is quite fascinating. Certain parts I had to playback, as I couldn't believe I'd heard it right. (I listened to this on audio.) He describes Jared Kushner's relationship to his domineering father, describing a rather awkward relationship between Kushner and his father. He also describes Kushner as possessing a talent for being able to "handle" older men. In my mind that translated to finesse...and the rest is just a slippery slope. Bannon didn't seem as quite the volatile and abusive maniac that the Twitter alt-staffer accounts have claimed. He almost seems normal in comparison to the dysfunctional, intellectually, mentally, and physically unfit to be president of anything - Donald Trump. Knowing all that we know about Steve Bannon, it's pretty sick that the book normalizes him and his agenda in some ways. But...that's about it. I really didn't feel I got anything particularly new or groundbreaking from this book. So now, that in every possible form we have evidence that Donald Trump and is entire administration is trash, how about we spend our energy getting him the hell out of office.
Recommendation: Like I said, if you've been missing the daily details about what's been going on in politics recently, read this. It is highly readable. I'd honestly describe it as a page turner. But if you're all caught up, you aren't missing much. I've seen some pretty funny threads about the book, and honestly I'd have saved myself some time being satisfied with that. If nothing else, read it because Donald Trump doesn't want you to.
Audience: Millennials and up, though I know quite a few teens who are interested in politics and would be able to read, follow, and enjoy this book.
*I purchased this audiobook on Audible.