Under the Skin

Under the Skin 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 thre

  • Title: Under the Skin
  • Author: Michel Faber
  • ISBN: 9781841954806
  • Page: 390
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 thIn 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.

    One thought on “Under the Skin”

    1. I was supposed to write this review a month ago but life happened and the right moment did not seem to materialize. I wanted to write a detail and spoilery analysis of the themes present but time passed and I don't feel capable to do it anymore. However, I feel obliged to write a few words.I will begin with the strong recommendation not to read any blurb before starting Under The Skin. The plot it is better to be explored without prior knowledge of the main mystery. Unfortunately, most blurbs an [...]

    2. UPDATE!This is a very unusul situation for me, but this is a very unusual book. I'm actually looking extremely forward to seeing the movie. The director Jonathan Glazer doesn't do many movies but he did do Sexy Beast which is a must-see, and he did do this amazing advert :youtube/watch?v=q-ut_2So bring it on! And now, the original book review.******Things I love about Under the Skin- the heroine is really creepy- the whole situation is really mental (that's a literary term coined by F R Leavis i [...]

    3. Compulsively creepy and disturbing in all the right ways. Orwellian by way of Le Guin or Octavia Butler. More Animal Farm than 1984. There was a little VanderMeer in there too. It's a moral story, without particularly taking any side; mostly just intended to provoke some discussing I imagine. It could easily be interpreted as an animal rights activism novel, but I'm not so sure it actually is. I really enjoyed this; very unnerving and hard to put down.edit: I read this before watching the film, [...]

    4. Since you asked for my opinion on hitchhiking, don’t do it.My grandfather was on his way to pick up my uncle for the Christmas holiday when he stopped for two male hitchhikers. They forced him to an abandoned house, beat him with a two-by-four, and drove off. Police found his cold, naked body two weeks later. My mom was eleven years old. Clearly, picking up hitchhikers is a big no-no in my family. Now this book warns me against the other side of hitchhiking: standing by the road with your thum [...]

    5. ALL SPOILERS FOR THIS BOOK ARE HIDDEN UNDER TAGSIsserley, too, often ventured out at hours of such prehistoric stillness that her vehicle might have been the first ever. It was as if she had been set down on a world so newly finished that mountains might still have some shifting to do and the wooded valleys might yet be recast as seas.Okay. This book is not what you are expecting at all. I am going to put the general (non-ending, non-detailed) description of the plot under a spoiler tag, because [...]

    6. Under the Skin is a reviewer's nightmare - it's literally impossible to discuss this book without touching the plot, and the whole thing hinges on mystery that surrounds it. This is a novel which is all about the big reveal, and Michel Faber delights in teeeeeeasing the reader with the smallest of hints and nudges.All I can tell you, spoiler free, is this - an attractive, lone woman, Isserley, drives on the A9 motorway through the Scottish Highlands, searching for hitch-hikers. She drives along [...]

    7. Michel Faber evidently likes writing about the seedier side of life, but with a twist. He wrote the wonderful The Crimson Petal and the White, which I've reviewed HERE about an aspirational Victorian prostitute, and in this contemporary novel, a rather strange woman picks up hunky male hitchhikers for nefarious, but initially unspecified purposes. The assumption that this would be an unpleasantly graphic account of sex crimes was unfounded. This is also about alienation, which was an even strong [...]

    8. Sometime in March Craig posted on our book group Facebook page the following message:“Hello Group,At the risk of sounding alarmist, I want to alarm you all.I am currently rereading Under The Skin for about the sixth time, and I noticed today from tube adverts that the film adaptation is out March 14 or 15. Now, I utterly hate it when things are oversold to me, but if you ever want to experience this novel - which is among the most extraordinary I've ever read - in the manner in which it was in [...]

    9. Surprisingly good. The book will keep you turning the pages because of the slow tease. In the end, I was expecting something like The Silence of the Lambs but Faber probably anticipated it and he brought me to a place I've never been before. That's despite that I already have 700+ books in different genres in my read folder. Definitely my first time to have encountered and read something like this.It is a story of a pickup lady named Isserly. She drives back and forth in a Scottish highway looki [...]

    10. “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.”*Minor spoilers* Disturbing, strangely compelling and original: Under the Skin is unlike anything I have ever read before. The story follows, Isserley, a female driver who picks up hitchhikers for secret purposes. She needs a certain type of guy: big muscled, tall and fit. What her reason i [...]

    11. Caution, spoilers! A modern fable on any number of potential issues—animal cruelty? corporate greed? human brutality?—set in a version of the Highlands where multiple people hitchhike each day (I go frequently to the Highlands and I’ve never seen no hitchhikers—maybe Faber ate them all?) The story begins with our big-breasted heroine Isserley picking up a series of unemployed assholes and stabbing them in the buttocks with a stun chemical activated via her dashboard. She drives her victi [...]

    12. Annnnnd now I can see the movie, whose trailer is the reason I read this book in the first place. The whole book-to-screen experience should have some degree of order to it, even if nothing else does in life. Especially if nothing else does in life. Book first 4 eva! On the film's trailer/synopsis/general promotion, just a couple of things: 1) There's a spoiler innit concerning the who-what of the main character that the book opted to slow-reveal, which creates this weird situation where the tra [...]

    13. I used to pick up hitchhikers. Alone and starved of conversation on long-distance trips I'd stop for anyone short of an obvious axe murderer. Most of the people I picked up were guys in their 20s - fit, healthy men who would have been perfect targets for the protagonist of Under The Skin.In Michael Faber's novel a lone woman named Isserley cruises the backroads of Scotland, picking up healthy, muscular male hitchers. She chats awkwardly with her new passengers, determining their health, their le [...]

    14. Now here's a book that went from an intriguing premise, to gripping me at the first page, to totally taking over my mind - it's definitely going to be one of the best books I've read this year, I can tell you that now. I read this back in March and itched to write a review straight away, but made myself wait till it was next in line - I wish I hadn't now, because my thoughts were so buzzing at the time it would have made a more interesting and energetic review!It's also a tricky one to review, o [...]

    15. It's an uncanny novel. Although it starts out as a classic thriller, Faber from first pages is playing with readers and misleading them. Repeating for The Timeshere nothing is what it seemsand you become more and more disoriented, for this book is nothing like you had ever read before. At the same time engaging and repulsive. Unsettling. Disturbing.I'm not sure what I expected but was absolutely suprised. Faber consistently builds tension and leads us out of the atmosphere of horror in total fan [...]

    16. This is one of the creepiest books I've read in years. It's also terrific - all kinds of props are due Michel Faber. He not only has the creative imagination to come up with such a bizarre, mesmerizing story; he also has the writing chops to execute it brilliantly. I can't think of any story I've read in the last several years that ratchets up the horror quotient so steadily, and so effectively. He's in total control throughout (hard to believe this was his first novel), writing in a style that' [...]

    17. Completely captivating. To this day, this story haunts me. Takes place in Scotland and the main character is a female who picks up male hitchikers. What she does with them is well let's just say, I almost became a vegetarian, if it wasn't for being Croatian and meat-eating is a patriotic obligation. In an eery and out-of-this world way, this story forces you to examine how we treat animals.

    18. A lonely stretch of road. A ribbon of slick tarmac stretching into the distant Scottish Highlands. There are few people around and every hitch hiker has to take their chances. After all what could possibly be dangerous about the young woman with the large eyes? Beware of dark roads. Beware of the kindness of strangers. Evocative and well written, this is a difficult book to review without spewing forth spoiler after spoiler in a big frothing pool of spoiler vomit. Therefore I will not write too [...]

    19. A very interesting and nauseating book. For a long time, you have no clue whatsoever what is going on, but you have strong suspicions it is not going to be pleasant at all to find out. You are disoriented but intrigued about the strange hitchhiking adventures of the main character Isserley. Still, you are unprepared when it hits you on the head. The discovery is so fantastic that it stops you in your tracks. I really liked how Michael Faber shows us a view of our world from a very different pers [...]

    20. This will haunt me for awhile, I need to go sit in a dark corner & contemplate 🙂 "Most distracting of all, though, was not the threat of danger but the allure of beauty"In this speculative tale reminiscent of Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale we follow Isserley, a woman who is obsessed with picking up well-muscled hitchhikers on the backdrop of a Scotland Highway. Why she is picking them up and asking them personal questions, is a mystery that will reveal a dark side to this simple act.“The [...]

    21. I came to Michel Faber's Under the Skin after I went to see the elliptical, provocative and unsettling film adaptation starring Scarlet Johansson. With context and character names completely stripped from the movie, I was curious what a literal version of this story would be like. I got a lot of answers and a few more questions.Stop reading unless you want the surprises spoiled.The novel introduces a woman named Isserley driving a battered red Toyota Camry up and down the A9 in the Highlands of [...]

    22. We did see the movie version of this book on Netflix a few weeks ago,althou,hubby didn't care for the movie,but me,that was a different story.I liked it!The main protagonist in the movie was Scarlett Johanssan,so I just HAD to read the book and Im soooo glad I did!The book seem to fill the gaps of the movie version,but at the same time,there are hardly,that many similar things going on between both,the book/movie.The book is one of the most bizarre and unique and unusual sci-fi storys I have rea [...]

    23. I've thought about being a vegetarian one of my arguments has been how shameful it'll be when aliens land and see what we've done. "Yeah, for several centuries we've been breeding and breeding this living thing and now it looks like this. We've kept this one in a cage for its entire life. Now we're going to kill it and eat it. Sausage roll?" Yuck. Can you imagine how embarrassing it's going to be? Fabulously, however, "Under the Skin" has aliens doing to us what we do to animals. And it's about [...]

    24. 3.0 to 3.5 stars. Very original and well written. The writer does an excellent job of unfolding the story slowly but still keeping the reader interested the entire time.

    25. I really did not enjoy this book! It is not often I am this blatant about a book when I have actually finished it but I honestly couldn’t find any redeeming qualities at all. What I am even more annoyed about is that I kept on reading thinking that at least there would be some big revelation and reward for my time invested in reading it. It’s really difficult to say anything about Under the Skin without giving anything away but to summarise as much as I can without ruining it for anyone else [...]

    26. This is one book you want to read without knowing much about it.However, that makes writing a review for this book a hell of a task because I can't tell you about the salient points of this book that are both scary and funny at the same time.And there were so many aspects modern life that Faber picked up and turned on their head in this - his first - book.So, the only thing I will say is that it follows the story of Isserly, who picks up hitchhikers in northern Scotland and that I would be wary [...]

    27. What a weirdly great read this was. Took me a little while to understand what was going on, I think because my brain did not want to understand. Morally challenging and completely absorbing.

    28. I seem to be having this issue a lot lately where I am reading other books by authors whose first book I read by them amazed me to almost-tears, and then the next one I read by them is all "Meh".My coworker borrowed this from me last week because someone else in our office is reading something else by Faber (hi, welcome to our world), and when I asked her what she thought of it when she returned to me, there was a lot of frowning and an inability to verbalize her thoughts. "It was weird" was all [...]

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