Author(s): Lloyd Jones
Two mysterious strangers appear at a hotel in a small country town. Where have they come from? Who are they? What catastrophe are they fleeing?
The townspeople want answers, but the strangers are unable to speak of their trauma. And before long, wary hospitality shifts to suspicion and fear, and the care of the men slides into appalling cruelty.
Lloyd Jones's fable-like novel The Cage is a profound and unsettling novel about humanity and dignity and the ease with which we're able to justify brutality.
Finalist for the 2019 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize - Ockham New Zealand Book Awards
'It is a thought-provoking and affecting book for readers of literary fiction where the morally questionable appears very ordinary.' --Books+Publishing, FOUR STARS
'A dark fable of imprisonment.' --Sydney Morning Herald, What to Read in 2018
'Jones builds calmly, rationally, in prose shot through with instances of unexpected beauty and tenderness to a terrible climax.'-- Adelaide Advertiser
'...A thinly disguised allegory of how easily ordinary, civilised people can lose their humanity, which reminded me of William Golding's Lord of the Flies.' --Australian Financial Review
'Its mastery lies in its mystery; the skill with which it leaves things unsaid. An audacious and affecting riff on the tenuousness of understanding and the frailty of good intentions. What on earth will the guy do next?' --NZ Herald
'Simply, clearly and vividly written, the moral dilemma posed in The Cage will linger long in my mind.' --NZ Spin Off, Book of the Week
'Lloyd Jones' new and possibly best novel will hold you in its narrative grip from its first page...This is exciting, risk-taking writing...Is it a fable? Probably, although it's open enough for you to make your own interpretation, possibly more than one. Does it have antecedents? Numerous: Orwell, with the occupants of the hotel constantly watching the occupants of the cage: Cormac McCarthy's The Road, with its air hopeless bleakness; the Kafkaesque way unsettling events are described with deadpan detachment; and all the absurdity and hopelessness of a Beckett play.' --North & South
'It is (also) brilliant. It compels and repels.' --NZ Listener
'With archetypal characters and a setting that is only roughly outlined, the story is contemporary yet feels out of time and place.' --Australian
'Lloyd Jones's new and possibly best novel will hold you in its narrative grip from it's first pages...This is exciting, risk-taking writing.' --North & South
A profound and unsettling allegorical fable...Its powerful message camouflaged by almost fairytale simplicity. The Cage explores how quickly humanity and dignity can segue into brutality when communication breaks down. Trust is revealed as fragile, forever at the mercy of authoritarian impulse.' --Qantas Magazine
'The puzzle of where the human essence lies and is shared is implicit in Jones' dark parable.' --Age
'The Kiwi master who brought us Mister Pip and The Book of Fame is in fine form with this unsettling new novel that begins with two mysterious strangers arriving at a hotel in a small country town. Hospitality shifts to suspicion and fear in this allegorical, fable-like tale about humanity and dignity and the ease with which we can justify brutality.' --Cityscape
Lloyd Jones is one of New Zealand's best known contemporary writers. He has published essays and children's books but his best known works include the novels The Book of Fame, winner of numerous literary awards, Biografi, a New York Times Notable Book, Choo Woo, Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance, Paint Your Wife, Hand Me Down World and the phenomenally successful Mister Pip, winner of the 2007 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Montana Medal for Fiction and the Kiriyama Writers' Prize. Mister Pip was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007. He lives in the Wairarapa.