Author of The ADHD Vampire and Mother F'ing Black Skull of Death

My Review of Brian Keene’s The Cage

I just realized while posting this that this is my first review of a Brian Keene book. I’m pretty sure I meant to do reviews of some of his other books, but obviously I didn’t. It’s better late than never though.

I only started reading Brian Keene’s work just as his relationship with Dorchester dissolved. What I read was what my brother had and a couple books my wife bought for me over the internet. A little while back he started a relationship with Deadite Press, and for fans like me this is exactly what we needed. They have been reprinting not only Brian’s mass market novels but stories that had originally only appeared in rare limited editions. So now I and so many others can easily get our hands on books and stories that diehard fans may have been dreaming about for years. Sometimes it pays to be late to the party.
The Cage intrigued me from the first time I read the premise of it. One night while closing down the electronics store a madman comes through the door. Brandishing guns and not afraid to use them, he ushers the employees into the back and locks them in a cage. This is the cage that the title refers to, it’s the area where they keep the small and expensive items. Much like the movies Phone Booth or the original Saw, the majority of this Novella takes place in this small area. One by one the intruder takes the employees to the front of the store, leaving whoever is still in the cage oblivious to his plans.
It’s best to know up front that this is a short novella, and it is not heavy on the action. One of Brian Keene’s main strengths is his characters and how he has the ability to make them interesting and real. That talent is showcased well here, with the characters being confined to this small area, wondering what is happening in the front of the store.
Besides the main story here there are three short stories included in this book, Marriage Causes Cancer In Rats, Lest Ye Become, and Waiting For Darkness. All have been previously published but like the main story, unavailable for awhile, until now. Following each of these is a few words from the author regarding how he came about writing these stories.
Overall I enjoyed this book, the main story has become one of my favorites from Keene. I would recommend it to anyone that is already a fan of his, or looking for a story to check out his work.

Buy it hereThe Cage

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4 responses

  1. I also got into Keene right around the Leisure demise. I read Dark Hollow and was immediately hooked. I did the right thing and refrained from purchasing Leisure/Dorchester published editions of Keene’s work and subsisted on borrowed copies and non-Dorchester books until Deadite started pumping out his stuff.

    There is no doubt Keene and his readers benefit from the new deal with Dorchester. They have been pumping out older stuff, The Cage, included and it’s been nice to get at some stuff that would not have been as easily available had he stayed with his old publisher.

    The Cage is not my favorite. I prefer both Jack’s Magic Beans and Tequila Sunrise (also short story/novellas) over The Cage. Still sub par Keene is better then the best effort of other more mainstream authors.

    My friend and I have a fledgling podcast. We reviewed THE CAGE for our first episode.
    If you or anyone would like to listen to our take on it you can find the episode here:

    http://booksbeerbullshit.podbean.com/2012/04/24/episode-1-kugeln-aus-messing/

    May 30, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    • The Conqueror Worms was the first Keene book I read, followed by The Rising and City of the Dead. As I said, I’m glad he got his deal with Deadite, I’ve been buying his books here and there since they started putting them out. I haven’t read either of the ones you mentioned, yet. I did read Ghoul not too long ago and really dug it. Also just read Take the Long Way Home, which I liked, but I was surprised by it. I’ve seen you around The Slaughterhouse Forums, I checked out your site when you posted about your review for Ryan Harding’s Genital Grinder. I like what you guys are doing, and I look forward to your next review.

      May 30, 2012 at 8:03 pm

  2. tristan1331

    Good review!

    May 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm

  3. Reblogged this on razorlinepress.

    November 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm

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