How to Stay Fresh for Dinner

The Infernal Republic’ Stories by Marshall Moore

By Josie E. Davis

In The Infernal Republic, Marshall Moore’s darkly amoral short story collection about contemporary relationships and their unforeseen endings, happily ever after isn’t always what it’s cracked out to be.  Dirty and deafening.  Satanic.

What would you do for love?  The question abounds the opening of Moore‘s second full volume of previously published stories including “Town of Thorns,” in which a man is haunted by the abrupt and unwelcome loss of his distanced lover, Michael, who in the aftermath of a Portland gay bashing, feels more like himself than ever before.

Through the slums of Los Angeles to the angelic red light district of Amsterdam, Moore sums up a gritty world in which “you stop being desirable.  People stop treating you as if you can think for yourself,” where flesh becomes something of commercial market value as in “Putting the Damage On,” when a woman surgically borrows, preserves, and wears the features of younger assistants in order to upgrade her physical and corporate appeal.  Continue reading