Friday, September 10, 2010
THE CAGE by Brain Keene
THE CAGE is about six co-workers who are taken hostage after a gun wielding madman enters their workplace just before closing. The seemingly deranged lunatic locks them in a storage area, a place the workers call the cage, an enclosed area of chain link fence. One by one he takes the workers out of the cage, never to return. This leaves the others to nervously ponder their fate, their lives and their relationships with each other.
At one point one of the characters tries to come to terms with what is happening, unable to believe his life has led to this moment, to this madman, simply to be snuffed out. If there is anything to take from this story its that you never know what hand you have been dealt each day. You might be hit by a car or fall down a flight of steps. You might find out from a doctor that the test has come back positive for cancer or you might find yourself held captive by a gun toting psychopath. We come to take for granted that we'll all make it home at the end of the day, that there will be plenty of time to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. THE CAGE is a warning. Take nothing for granted.
The writing is strong, the characters true to life but for me I just didn't find much to like about any one of them. By mid point I didn't really care one way or the other if the main character made it out alive. Actually that's a lie. I was hoping he would die horribly. Here's a guy that gets pissy about his fellow workers for not making a move against this nutjob and yet didn't have the balls to try it himself. Not exactly hero stock, if you know what I mean.
Once again, this novella is out of stock at Cemetery Dance. If you are a die hard Keene fan it's probably a nice addition to your collection. However, if you are not a fanatic, I would hesitate to pay more than the actual cover price on the secondary market.