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.
“The power of [Fool's Republic] is not simply the story, but also the breathtaking prose used to tell that story. A must-read for those looking for a page-turning and intelligent thriller.”
—The New York Journal of Books
“[A] soliloquy born of reflection and nightmare, replete with musical, literary, historical and biblical references … thoughtful and compelling.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“A new political thriller exploring the limits of personal freedom and the psychology of resistance.”
—San Jose Mercury News
“The eerie background [of Fool's Republic] feels right for this stark timely political thriller (the Patriot Act quietly has been renewed once again). The story line echoes Benjamin Franklin's wise commentary that 'He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither' ...Fool's Republic readers will learn that to officials there are worse treasonous acts than betraying the nation, the Constitution or the people.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Timely and gripping. Fool’s Republic drew me in and wouldn’t let go. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award winner and author of The Liar’s Lullaby
“Gordon W. Dale’s protagonist, the perfectly maladjusted Simon Wyley, whisks us along the tightrope of this keen political thriller through one delicious dope-slap after another—he's a bright light in the face of these imbecilic times.”
—John Kain, author of A Rare and Precious Thing
“Gordon W. Dale has written a meditative thriller about loss, deception, and the search for soul in a terrifying world.”
—Miha Mazzini, author of Guarding Hanna
“Gordon W. Dale has achieved a double tour de force. He expertly manages the breathtaking grip and pace that appeal to thriller aficionados, while also delivering an impressive array of philosophical, psychological, and historical substance for those craving a 'literary' experience. In his creation of Simon Wyley, a citizen caught in the collateral devastation of all-too-familiar political maneuverings and corruption of government, Dale demonstrates the tremendous breadth and power of his writing.”
—Marjorie Anderson, writer and coeditor of the Dropped Threads anthologies
“I opened [Fool's Republic] just to read the first page … but before I knew it I was on page 60 and had trouble putting it down!”
“Dale has created a real hero afflicted with real flaws. The ending was brilliant and unexpected. It is the rarest of thrillers, a reflective work, neither dependent on gun nor bomb to create suspense … an excellent book.”
—Mysteries and More
“Fool’s Republic is a terrific look at how easily the government gives and takes away under the guise of national security.”
—The Mystery Gazette
“This is a very readable book and it is always refreshing to see important subjects being tackled by fiction (especially those subjects which the mainstream media seems to ignore entirely). Fool’s Republic provides a plausible and disturbing depiction of what is undoubtedly going on behind closed doors, with the full consent of our governments, to some unknown individual somewhere in the world right now.”
—Reactions to Reading
"Gordon W. Dale manages to write an enjoyable, readable book."