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 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.