Caging Skies: THE INSPIRATION FOR THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE 'JOJO RABBIT'
By Christine Leunens
THE INSPIRATION FOR THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE ‘JOJO RABBIT’
A gripping, atmospheric novel about obsession and love in war-time ViennaTweet
Caging Skies is a mix of genres including black comedy, physiological thriller, and fiction-based-on-history. But above all it has that intriguing, can’t-put-down quality of a good book.
The main character, Johannes Betzler, is both intelligent, brainwashed, obsessed and child-like, even as an adult. He never grows up.
The story revolves around young Johannes joining the Hitler Youth, then suffering terribly disfiguring injuries in an air raid, and discovering his parents have been hiding a Jewish girl in their attic – a crime punishable by death. All these things help to form who he is. Repulsed and frightened at first, he then becomes infatuated with the hidden girl, Elsa, eventually falling in love with her.
I liked that the whole book hinges on a life-altering secret, one that Johannes eventually continues to enact, knowingly. There is much humour in the book, but it is the kind of humour that has the dark, hideous secret of the Nazi regime lurking behind it.
The book is beautifully written and has good pace. It is the kind of book you won’t be able to put down.