Hedyphagetica is a powerful political satire, a ribald comedy, and a desperate love letter to a woman named Aimeé. “Oh my, yes, I am afraid that in the beginning was the word . . .” So begins the narrator’s account of his homeland, Gron, a country whose militaristic and authoritarian government bombs its own people at air shows—to keep them awed—and leads them into pointless and interminable wars to keep them properly motivated.
Employing all the tools of modernity to achieve a medieval brand of repression, Gron is a grim place. The narrator, attempting a kind of history, tells his story through the life of Dr. Samuel Johnson (no relation), an everyman who suffers every indignity his government can offer (including having an eye removed to “cure” his migraines).
A strange and beautiful book, this is a bleak account of country that may, indeed, exist.