Tim O'Hearn's Reviews > Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff
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really liked it
Read 2 times. Last read January 15, 2018.

"That was some weird shit"

George W. Bush's assessment of Trump's inauguration speech, shared with Hillary Clinton and recounted in her most recent book before being reprinted in this one, is perhaps the most fitting description of this presidency by a man not remembered for his concision.

If there's ever going to be an intelligent discussion surrounding Fire and Fury, the other thing that both sides are going to have to agree on is that this book doesn't contain all very much fire or fury. The phrase was borrowed from Trump's famous tweet and subsequent short speech directed at Kim Jong-un, but the book is largely, if not entirely, composed of examples supporting a different characterization of Trump. If this book went unnamed and someone asked me to to come up one, I'd go with An entertaining, persuasive, but ultimately insecure, impatient and somewhat incompetent man and his crew take care of important business rather haphazardly.

So--yes--most of the press coverage of this book has been farcical. Especially when you consider how difficult it would be to substantiate many of the claims here, we're faced with a bleak reality. Fire and Fury isn't going to change anyone's opinion of the presidency. But it's far from boring or irrelevant.

Michael Wolff, who looks a lot like I would want to look like if I was a writer, is great at what he does. As much as the book provides a Who's Who of Trump's inner circle, it also serves as a reminder that your grasp of the English language isn't as tight as you think it is (though spotting four editing errors offered me some consolation). On nearly every page, I marveled at the words that Wolff was able to come up with. I executed dozens of Google searches to make sure I was extracting the right meaning. That rarely happens any more. Even more seldom does it happen and I don't eventually come to despise the author.

All these words together made a riveting story. Descriptions of some actors were pure genius, such as Ivanka having developed a "Disney Princess voice," Mike Pence "do[ing] funerals and ribbon cuttings," and that "[Hope Hicks] was in fact thought of as Trump's real daughter, while Ivanka was thought of as his real wife." The suggestion that Trump was only semi-literate was perhaps the most jaw-droppingly interesting tidbit in the book, and I found myself wrestling with that question to the bitter end.

This brings me to my final point which is that this is a thought-provoking, but not necessarily important, book. If you are ready to wrestle with what the author has to say, you'll really enjoy it (the potentially cataclysmic fate of our country notwithstanding). If you're at either extreme and not willing to budge, you're just going to become more angry. Read something else.
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Reading Progress

January 6, 2018 – Shelved (Kindle Edition)
January 6, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read (Kindle Edition)
January 11, 2018 – Started Reading (Kindle Edition)
Started Reading
January 15, 2018 – Shelved
January 15, 2018 – Finished Reading (Kindle Edition)
January 15, 2018 – Finished Reading

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