The Infernal Republic is a mirror into which one doesn’t want to look too closely for fear of seeing something that might resemble oneself. There are shards of reality that cut to the quick of the darkest side of the human condition, and more than a little fantasy that reflects upon the concept that we are all merely pawns in a game being orchestrated by preternatural powers.
Marshall Moore has penned a compilation of short stories and flash fiction that is by turns disturbing and darkly humorous, depicting humans and, indeed, their humanity as a biddable commodity, something that fluctuates depending upon the circumstances. Each of these stories paints a picture, wickedly delicious in its bite, that made me question which is more startling and frightening—enthusiastic indifference or the manic enjoyment of others’ pain and suffering. Either way, each and every one of the glimpses into the deep shadows where apathy hides was a…guilty pleasure? I suppose I can say that because I did feel a bit guilty at finding so much enjoyment in these twisted and terrific tales of death, suicide, hatred, obsession, madness, vengeance, lost love, accountability, and children who can be taken apart and reassembled at the whims of the adults who only want them to acquiesce to their demands.
By turns caustic and unsettling, moving and provocative, The Infernal Republic is a masterwork for the disturbed, for those of us readers who want to turn out the lights and see what resides behind the façade of the well adjusted.
BUY LINK (Avail. Feb. 14, 2012)