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The Cage Keeper and Other Stories

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  229 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Passion and betrayal, violent desperation, ambivalent love that hinges on hatred, and the quest for acceptance by those who stand on the edge of society-these are the hard-hitting themes of a stunningly crafted first collection of stories by the bestselling author of House of Sand and Fog.

A vigilant young man working in a halfway house finds himself unable to defend agains
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 9th 2001 by Vintage (first published 1989)
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Andrew Smith
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
In his memoir, Townie, Dubus talks of his upbringing in tough New England towns, where he was at first bullied by other boys but eventually trained himself to become a brawler of some repute. Here, in an early compendium of short stories, he is at home portraying a collection of down at heel characters trying to come to terms with their less than perfect lives.

The stories all have violent undertones and won’t be to everyone’s taste, but there is no doubting the author’s ability to paint startl
Alex English
Feb 20, 2011 rated it liked it
The Cage Keeper and other Stories by Andre Dubus is a colllective reading of lives that fall between the cracks. A beautiful arrangement of strange, tragic, and liberating things, Andre Dubus uses his direct, and sometimes humorous language, to tell stories no one thinks to tell. Starting with The Cage Keeper”, a worker in a halfway house is kidnapped by an inmate and friend, and forced to drive him to freedom. The second, “Duckling girl” is the touching and heart-wrenching story of a girl who e ...more
Dylan Perry
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This collection was a mixed bag for me. After loving two of Andre Dubus' books I'm left a bit wanting after finishing this. Of the seven stories I thought two were excellent, two were meh, and skipped three altogether because they didn't hold my attention. The cover is beautiful and I'll proudly display it on my shelves with the rest of my Dubus books, but overall I was disappointed and probably won't read it again.

Penny Burkhardt
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Some of the best writing and character development that I have read. The harsh conditions in each of these stories made many of them hard to read. Still that doesn't diminish their outstanding power.
Connie Hess
Jan 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Andre Dubus III is an excellent author. His books are never very uplifting and deal with sad realities of life. This is a book of short stories and some I found to be disturbing.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Probably my fault (not a short story enthusiast), not his, (he of "House of Sand and Fog" genius). Please do consider listening to his narration, though. Voice is compelling.
Patrick Faller
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a moment in the title story of this collection that suggests the nature of Dubus III's interests as a writer and gives a glimpse into his fiction-writing strengths. The story's narrator, a young man named Allen who works as a corrections officer, is bagging up and tagging the personal belongings of one of the inmates who has run off without warning (the corrections institution resembles a half-way house for convicted felons, hardly a jail where the inmates are under lock and key and sub ...more
Sep 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2009-reads, fiction
A collection of short stories by the author of House of Sand and Fog, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories delve into the actions, thoughts, and motives of criminals, ex-cons, and those who work in the criminal justice system, and into the lives of those who fall between in the cracks of society. In the title story, a halfway house worker is kidnapped by one of the inmates, Elroy, and forced to drive Elroy to Canada, to freedom. Along the way, Allen discovers why Elroy killed and as a result strugg ...more
Shonna Froebel
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This collection of stories focuses on characters living on the margins, many dealing with situations that are challenging. They are not always easy to read, but they feel real.
The story The Cage Keeper's main character is a worker in a halfway house, a job he took on through family connections. When one of the inmates goes off the rails, he finds himself struggling to deal with the situation.
Duckling Girl has two characters that end up connecting, a sad illiterate girl, abused and resigned to he
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dubus III often explores characters from the underbelly of society. This collection has that, but also some of these same characters in a haunting, yet beautiful, natural world. Some of the pieces reminded me of a darker Pam Houston or Ron Carlson. Dubus is one of those authors that is gifted in both the novel and the shorter form, which is rare in my opinion. These stories are not for the feint of heart, but if you appreciate these, you'll appreciate Dubus' other works as well.
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
A grim set of stories by a master at reminding us that EVERYONE has a story. Every single human being, even people we tend to dismiss as trash, druggies, criminals -- in fact, especially those people. These stories will open your heart and pour in compassion like disinfectant on a wound. It hurts, but it's good for you.
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
The stories were so sad and dark but very well written. It reminded a bit too much of patients I have worked with. It is amazing how such a segment of society can be so ignored. I think it is wonderful that they were brought to life in this work.
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dubus demonstrates an interesting talent for presenting highly emotional scenes that are at the same time cold and stark as many of his characters. The prose in these stories is gritty and visceral, appearing quite real. Though not always pleasant, these stories are good throughout.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Some of these stories just try too hard. They were all gritty and I usually don't mind that, but the title story just didn't ring true for me.
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Some of the stories were excellent, others were fair. Written in 1989, this book was the first published ( I think) by an author I love.
Oct 18, 2008 marked it as to-read
He hasn't done me wrong yet
Kenneth Weene
Jan 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adults looking for well written short fiction
Recommended to Kenneth by: My wife
Powerfully written but ultimately depressing and filled with alcohol, leaving the reader somewhat numbed.
Jacque Staub
Nov 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
2.5 stars? mostly diluted denis johnson, but excellent 1st story.
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
dubus has an incredible way of capturing the character's voice. this book of short stories, each with a unique voice and tone, shows that dubus is a force to be reckoned with.
Kathy D
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Andre is a superb writer. He is an artist with his ability to provide scenes so well you are walking and riding along with the characters. The Cage Keeper is a treasure of a story.
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Although I loved the House of Sand and Fog, I was very disappointed with these short stories.
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Jul 07, 2015
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Apr 09, 2017
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Nov 12, 2011
rated it liked it
Dec 27, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2007
rated it it was ok
Feb 02, 2016
Edward A. Collado
rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2014
rated it it was ok
Jun 18, 2015
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Sep 11, 2010
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Andre Dubus III is the author of The Garden of Last Days, House of Sand and Fog (a #1 New York Times bestseller, Oprah’s Book Club pick, and finalist for the National Book Award) and Townie, winner of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His writing has received many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Magazine Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. He lives with ...more
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