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Under the Skin

Faber, Michel

16,112 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0862419271 / ISBN 13: 9780862419271
Published by Canongate, Edinburgh and New York, 2000
Condition: Fine Soft cover
From TransAtlantic Books (Wilton Manors, FL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Author's first novel. A female driver scours the Scottish countryside looking for male hitch-hikers to pick up. A frightening tale, and not what one would expect! This true first was issued as a soft-back in acetate jacket. The acetate jacket has a one-half cm tear at the top of the spine. Basis of the 2014 film of the same name. Bookseller Inventory # 4292A

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Under the Skin

Publisher: Canongate, Edinburgh and New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Original Wraps

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

The novel centres around a female character, Isserly, who seems to be obsessed with picking up male hitch-hikers, as long as they are muscular and fit. As the story unfolds, the reader comes to realise that Isserly's motives are rather unusual.

Review:

In the opening pages of Under the Skin, a lone female is scouting the Scottish Highlands in search of well-proportioned men: "Isserley always drove straight past a hitch-hiker when she first saw him, to give herself time to size him up. She was looking for big muscles: a hunk on legs. Puny, scrawny specimens were no use to her." At this point, the reader might be forgiven for anticipating some run-of-the-mill psychosexual drama. But commonplace expectation is no help when it comes to Michel Faber's strange and unsettling first novel; small details, then major clues, suggest that something deeply bizarre is afoot. What are the reasons for Isserley's extensive surgical scarring, her thick glasses, her excruciating backache? Who are the solitary few who work on the farm where her cottage is located? And why are they all nervous about the arrival of someone called Amlis Vess?

The ensuing narrative is of such cumulative, compelling strangeness that it almost defies description. The one thing that can be said with certainty is that Under the Skin is unlike anything else you have ever read. Faber's control of his medium is nearly flawless. Applying the rules of psychological realism to a fictional world that is both terrifying and unearthly, he nonetheless compels the reader's absolute identification with Isserley. Not even the author's fine short-story collection, Some Rain Must Fall, prepared us for such mastery. Under the Skin is ultimately a reviewer's nightmare and a reader's dream: a book so distinctive, so elegantly written, and so original that one can only urge everybody in earshot to experience it, and soon. --Burhan Tufail

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