Today I read Caged Skies, which is not a book about Space Marines and therefore an exception to almost everything else I’ve read this year. It’s being made into a satire about a Hitler Youth member who fantasises about Hitler being his best friend, in a film made by the director of Eagle vs Shark and What We Do In The Shadows, and the trailer for that looks amazing.
Having read the book this evening, I’m not quite sure how they’ll translate it to film. It’s a brutal piece about an unreliable narrator, closer to John Fowles’ The Collector if that had been set in WWII Austria, and although to begin with I assumed some satirical pay off that made you feel something, it’s much more a well designed machine of misery that ticks and tocks to its conclusion. Not amusing satirical material at all.
Unless there’s humour to be extracted from somebody having their arm blown off, or if the translation from the original German was the worst job ever done.
Anyway, it’s a good piece of work. Given how most of the early Hitler Youth section appears to be based on fact, I suppose it’s closest to real life horror than anything else, and as the book goes on you should understand better and better than the narrator is a pathetic villain and not somebody to expect a last chapter redemption from, but that doesn’t make it the most pleasant thing I’ve ever read. Unless you like reading about the curdling of love and [self]deception in post war Europe. But then it also has this masterpiece:
Children didn’t have the look of children-they were little disenchanted adults, playing as routinely as if going to work. Even the cats and dogs slipping in and out had that dishonest look to them.