Dark and Disturbing: Under the Skin

Under The SkinUnder the Skin

A few years ago when I was a regular library user, I would often see this novel on the shelf when I browsed the fiction section. For some reason I never borrowed it despite being a huge Crimson Petal fan. Perhaps I worried it would be a bit too gritty urban realism for my liking. Without realising a film was about to be released, I borrowed this book from a colleague after her hearty recommendation. Unfortunately a film review spoiled the main revelation about Isserley for me…

Isserley spends most of her time driving. But why is she so interested in picking up hitchhikers? And why are they always male, well-built and alone?

First Impressions: Michel Faber uses a simple yet engaging writing style. I was hooked! What was Isserley’s purpose?

Highlights: I thought this was an incredibly original novel. I found the outcome for the hitchhikers Isserley collected disturbing and some of the detail has lingered with me. To say more may ruin the story for someone else… I thought the ending was fitting. I don’t know how any other resolution would have worked.

If I was an editor: I would wonder weather the catalyst for Isserley’s equivocation was substantial enough. I thought her change of opinion was fine; I just didn’t fully believe how she reached this point. Despite this, I was enjoying the story so much it didn’t really bother me.

Overall: I can’t recall reading anything like this before and wish I took a chance on it when I first saw it.

Under the Skin: 5 stars


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2 thoughts on “Dark and Disturbing: Under the Skin

  1. I read this when it first came out and it has really stayed with me, although I can’t remember Isserley’s change of path – if that even happened in the book? I recently saw the film, and though I thought it was an amazing work, it differed from the book so enormously that I was quite baffled. It made me want to read the book again.

    • Isserley’s change of path was when she started to get a bit anti-establishment… I’m purposely being vague as I hate people who give spoilers 🙂
      I suspect it wasn’t in the film. Very little in the trailer reminds me of the novel.

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