Under The Skin - Michael Faber

Genre: Dark Fiction
Synopsis: In this haunting, entrancing novel, Michel Faber introduces us to Isserley, a female driver who cruises the Scottish Highlands picking up hitchhikers. Scarred and awkward, yet strangely erotic and threatening, she listens to her hitchhikers as they open up to her, revealing clues about who might miss them if they should disappear. A grotesque and comical allegory, Under the Skin takes us on a heart-thumping ride through dangerous territory — our own moral instincts and the boundaries of compassion — to present a surreal representation of contemporary society run amok.


Review: This... was an odd book. Bizzare. I'm quite bewildered by it, and not at all sure how to feel. Though my 3-star rating means 'Liked it', I'm not sure I did. I'm just confused. Hm.

I knew the basics going in, so I didn't enter into the story completely unprepared, and yet I still came away utterly baffled by what I had just read. It's a very difficult book to review without giving away any spoilers - though I think I may actually have benefitted from knowing more rather than less going into it. That is because I spent so much of the book confused and trying to figure things out, that when things were revealed, it was more a case of 'oh, so THAT'S what it was', as opposed to any shock or horror about the revelation. Additionally, it packed a few different issues and difficult scenes into the one, ultimately aimless, story. There doesn't seem to have been any real endgoal to it, which also baffles me. With the kinds of topics addressed, you'd kind of expect some form of resolution.

All that said, there were elements I absolutely loved - the writing was just stunning, an absolute pleasure to read; there is no doubt that Faber is capable of manipulating the English language into doing precisely his bidding. I just... have no idea what his bidding was in this novel!

There's more I would love to say, things I see as glaring plotholes - but they're huge spoilers, so I can't say anything! Nyargh! A book that could have been great if it tried to pack in less and focused on just one or two of the myriad strands contained therein.

Rating: 3/5

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