Friday, December 5, 2014

Books: Under The Skin

(Drivebycuriosity) - Isserley has a tough job. She has to drive on remote roads somewhere in rural Scotland and to pick up male hitchhikers. Why does she do that? For whom is she working? Why does she need huge glasses? Michel Faber`s  2001 debut novel "Under the skin" starts with a lot of questions (amazon). The answers follow step by step in the course of the book (this is a spoiler free blog).

Faber tells a very usual and disturbing story. It is clearly science fiction even that the story is set in contemporary rural Scotland. But the book has not much in common with the works by Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Gregory Benford, Philip K. Dick and other science fiction authors. The author is litte interested in technology and doesn`t try to explain scientific aspects. He focuses rather on psychological and sociological phenomena. "Under the skin" reminds me of Franz Kafka, especially of Kafka`s sinister tales like the "Penalty Colony". The novel is a piece of modern British literature with a dark mood. Parts of it are sheer horror. The book is partially a tough read and it goes literally "under the skin".

But the book is worth the efforts. The authors blends the story with philosophical thoughts and intelligent musings about relationships, conflict of interests, cultural differences, social and economical power and much more. Even that the novel has a sinister approach, it opens the eyes for the beauty of our world.

PS I bought the book because I had enjoyed the same named movie in spring (driveby). But book and movie go  different ways, so reading the novel gives a new and valuabe experience. Recommended for book lovers, science fiction aficionados and all friends of good writing.

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