“I float in an eight by eight cell of the purest clinical white: white walls, white sheets, white toilet, white sink, white light. Even the floor drain has been painted white. This drain worries me, sitting as it does in a slight recess in the floor, with no apparent purpose except to sluice away evidence. I stare at it, obsessed with images of red blood spilling down white tiles, like a pour painting by a trendy New York artist whose name I no longer recall.
I am attired in madhouse whites to match my cell: disposable briefs under white cotton pants, a white short-sleeved shirt, white slip-on canvas shoes without socks. My head has been shaved. I am denied access to a mirror, but no doubt my skull is also white, as white as the skin of my arms and hands. White skin over red blood. It occurs to me that I am afraid.”
Citizens’ stories of state abuse, from secret wiretapping to unjust imprisonment and worse, make headlines daily. In the hands of novelist Gordon W. Dale, they drive a masterful political thriller.
As Fool’s Republic opens, Simon Wyley floats in a tiny all-white cell. A short-order cook with a genius-level IQ, Wyley has had a steady job for twenty years, paid his taxes, kept to himself. A dedicated husband and father, he’s a model citizen.
So why is he being held?
Wyley is accused of committing crimes against the state—the charges are always implied, never specified—and is being held without formal charge, benefit of counsel, or due process of law. He confuses and confounds his interrogators using the only weapons at his disposal, irony and whimsy, to challenge their arrogance and false assumptions.
As Wyley’s journey proceeds, we develop a deeper understanding of the man behind the wisecracks and of the society that has inexplicably imprisoned him. Exhibiting a crackling narrative energy and vivid prose, Fool’s Republic is about freedom—freedom of action, freedom of thought and, ultimately, the freedom to be human. It is the story of a man’s struggle to come to terms with himself and the culture in which he lives.
The New York Journal of Books: “Important and timely… The power of the book is not simply the story, but also the breathtaking prose used to tell that story. A must-read…”
San Jose Mercury News: “A new political thriller exploring the limits of personal freedom and the psychology of resistance.”
The Winnipeg Free Press : “[A] soliloquy born of reflection and nightmare, replete with musical, literary, historical and biblical references… thoughtful and compelling.”
Tulsa Books Examiner: “Simon will be your favorite character, but the people he meets along the way will touch you, repulse you and intrigue you… It’s a book that you will want to discuss with people. That’s when you know you’ve read something good, when you’re thinking and talking about it long after the last page has been read.”
Mysteries and More: “The ending was brilliant and unexpected. It is the rarest of thrillers, a reflective work, neither dependent on gun nor bomb to create suspense. I will be thinking about Wyley and “the land of the free”. It is an excellent book.”
BookBound: “I opened the book yesterday just to read the first page (I’ve currently got three books on the go so this one was going to wait until I’ve finished at least one other) but before I knew it I was on page 60 and had trouble putting it down!”