book cover of Under the Skin
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Under the Skin

(2000)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Whitbread Prize Best First Novel (nominee)
A Discover Great New Writers Selection

"Isserley always drove straight past a hitchhiker when she first saw him, to give herself time to size him up."

In Michel Faber's suspenseful first novel, Isserley, an unusual-looking woman with strangely scarred skin, drives through the Scottish Highlands both day and night, looking for just the right male hitchhikers. She picks them up, makes enough small talk to determine she's made a safe choice, then hits a toggle switch on her car, releasing a drug that knocks her victims out. She then takes them to the "farm" where she lives-and where the "processing" takes place-a terrifying procedure involving the removal of various body parts.

In this upside-down world that Faber has so strikingly created, animals are human, and humans are known as "vodsels." Isserley, at one time a beautiful "human" covered in fur with a long tail, is now a foreigner in the "vodsel" world, sent there to collect as many victims as possible. And what becomes of the men she collects is just the beginning of an even more sinister secret. In this world, looks are extremely deceiving; it's what's Under the Skin that truly counts. A disturbing, yet thought-provoking metaphor for a society run amok, this ferociously creative fiction debut will linger in readers' imaginations long after they've passed the last hitchhiker on the highway.

Genre: Literary Fiction

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