Some books are nearly impossible to review so I apologise if this is a little short. It in no way reflects on the quality of the book. In fact, I think that it’s one of the best books that I have read this year.
In brief, Under the Skin is the story of a young woman who drives around Scotland picking up male hitchhikers. It is very, very difficult to say anything more about without giving away any spoilers and since you know how desperately I try and avoid those on This Northern Gal, I’ll leave the summary section of this review at that!
But I also think that that is where a lot of the magic of Under the Skin comes from. On paper, it is an incredible simple book in which not much at all happens. Faber then unpeels some of the gauze surrounding that to give you a peek at what is lurking underneath. The young woman becomes one of the most fascinating character you will ever read about. You’ll reevaluate how you view the male hitchhikers that litter the pages. Even the car she drives has secrets of its own.
Somewhere along the way, you’ll also start asking other questions too. Michel Faber is the ultimate for sprinkling philosophical questions through his fiction in a really subtle and accessible way. It is one of the reasons why I love his writing so much and am desperate to read even more of it as soon as I can.
Under the Skin is disturbing and shocking. It is well crafted and original. It is superb and unusual.
It just also happens to have wrapped all that up in so many secrets, surprises and turns that it is nearly impossible to review. I guess I’ll just have to sum it up like this: go read Michel Faber’s Under the Skin. And then hotfoot it back here so we can discuss it properly.