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Skin Cage Paperback – January 17, 2015
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Since Danny’s story is told in the first person narrative, and since Nico Leaser is an excellent storyteller, I found it frighteningly easy to imagine what it was like to be trapped in a helpless body incapable of even the most basic communication. For this reason, I found reading the first part of this book very uncomfortable -- which was a good thing. It only made me realize how insignificant my own problems were. Yet as Danny found his way out of his skin cage, the story became more adventurous and full of hope.
One of the themes of this book was becoming someone else. I could see this idea on many levels. Not only did I as a reader have a chance to become Danny for a brief moment, but Danny also became someone else more than once. Sometimes it was quite literal and involuntary, but at other times he just tried to empathize with someone who was even less fortunate than he was. The story made me realize that we’ re all trapped in our skin cages to an extent, though most of us are lucky to be able to communicate. Sometimes the only way out may be to enter another skin cage. To me personally, this message has a deep symbolic meaning of connection and empathy as the way of our own liberation.
The book has a powerful ending that provokes many deep questions.
For a short text, Nico really managed to create a dynamic environment. Within the first chapter we are introduced to four very different characters (two of whom are very deep and one is intriguing for being a complete jerk). The protagonist, Daniel, fights for a sense of identity throughout the text. Nico did a great job differentiating how the world sees him, and how he sees himself. Even with the small details like the name (what he calls himself and what the characters around the protagonist call him). It created a unique conflict because the entire time Daniel was so close to saying the things he wanted to say, and being the person he wanted to be, but just physically could not do it.
I really do not want to give anything away because it is definitely a must read. All I will say is that you will feel every emotion imaginable while reading this text, and I really really hate a certain male caretaker.
If I had to find fault with anything, it would be the use of first person narrative to this extent. Many sentences could have told the story without starting with “I” and I felt this took away from the story a bit. But I’m nitpicking here - it’s hard to find fault with any part of this novel.
A couple of reviewers thought the story was a bit short. I don’t agree with that. With 180 pages of tightly spaced narrative and enough detail to make you feel like you are watching a movie, there’s nothing to complain about here.
To the reviewer who thought the book didn’t have a clear climax or a resolve that really worked – did we read the same book???
Great piece of work by a skilled writer!
By Nico Laeser
Two different people recommended this book to me. The author (whom I only “know” through a book reading club) and a good friend. I didn’t even bother to read the description because my friend and I have similar tastes and if she says it's good...it's going to be good. I ran straight to my kindle to buy it. Glad I didn’t know what to expect. The surprise was amazing! With a name like SKIN CAGE, I think I was expecting something violent or horrific (something along the serial killer ilk). It wasn’t that at all—and I’m not going to elaborate on what it really was (you need to be surprised too)—but, I wasn’t disappointed in the least!
Daniel/Danny Stockholm is an incredible character. The author does an amazing job of fleshing out his personality, his history, thought processes…he’s a well-rounded if somewhat stiff (giggle giggle) guy. But don’t let that worry you…he loosens up, gets more active and goes out and gets a whole new life that changes everything! You’ll love him.
Anna, Danny’s aunt has a great back-story and it’s unfolded a little bit at a time in such a way that I wanted to speed through the pages to see just how!
Cassie is an angel wearing nurses’ whites and she too is fascinating. I know two different real people in my life whom Cassie resembles in personality. That made her relatable and real to me. As were all the characters.
Marcus Salt, the antagonist (in the first part of the book) was a donkey’s butt! I’ve known so many people just like him—selfish, self-centered, Neanderthal’s who should be kept in cages…let’s just say you won’t like him either. The author didn’t miss a beat on this one!
Even David who lent not much more to the story than his body, was a well-developed character whom I both liked and loathed all at once. (I hate to see people give up on life!) His back story, however, gave me deep insight into who and (why he was) what he was.
This author is a masterful story teller. And I was hooked from beginning to end. I read this story in just under two hours. I couldn’t put it down.
I would recommend this book to ANYONE!
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In Skin Cage, we are introduced to a young man named Daniel Stockholm--an unfortunate individual who, at the age of...Read more