Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis
Coming to Thunder Bay

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Book Review by Simon Hoad

 The Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff
Book Review by Simon Hoad.
Miriam bought an audio version of Fire & Fury and I amused myself at the Sunshine cabin, listening to it on the tablet for ten hours spaced over two days. 
Oh-My!! We knew at the time through the squeaker election and then the ongoing Trump presidency, the broad outlines of each political pratfall and executive over-reach. What is so damning and so delicious is the sheer number of details about the personalities caroming around. The corporate and political arm-wrestling between the Javanka duo and Bannon, has tied the White House in knots. 
The key dynamic was the relative favour or temporary ascendency of one camp versus another in Trump's eyes which gave the zig-zag quality to official pronouncements. 
Meanwhile The Donald is bored, frustrated, enraged, petulant and back to bored, waiting for another golf day.  Or for his 6:30 evening bed time, PJs on and cellphone at hand to call rich buddies to kvetch. Cue Fox TV for the tweet scripts.
Is this a good book? (Literary meaning) It's not particularly well written. It's first draft political writing, not history.  Apparently critics have flagged a few (minor) factual errors - blow it off - it's all the critics have. The story’s sources speak for themselves.  Once Wolff made the successful transition in his book to a West Wing couch he became a wallpaper fixture, a ready sympatric ear.  Everyone was eager to diss everyone else as the senior staff staggered through their daily train-wreck mop-up duties. 
PS - Bannon is not a nice guy, yet his focus & longer term political goals make him stand out.  He is singular in the White House - at least in his own mind, as he bends Wolff's ear yet again.  (Become head of the American Tea Party anyone? - followed by even higher aspirations. Trump is just a stepping-stone). The key to resistance to Bannon by others is to taint him so  badly that whack-job rich people don't give him money for his delusions and plots.
PS - Who will write-up Year Two??
Note: North America is sold out of hard cover books. I got mine on line for the iPad. ($15.99) And a determined Miriam went for the audio book.
Michael Wolff

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