Under the Skin

  • by Michel Faber
  • Narrated by Fiona Hardingham
  • 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Hailed as “original and unsettling, an Animal Farm for the new century” (Wall Street Journal), this debut novel lingers long after the last page has been turned.
A “fascinating psychological thriller” (Baltimore Sun), this entrancing novel introduces Isserley, a female driver who scouts the Scottish Highlands for male hitchhikers with big muscles. She herself is tiny—like a kid peering up over the steering wheel. Scarred and awkward, yet strangely erotic and threatening,  Isserley listens to her passengers as they open up to her, revealing clues about who might miss them should they disappear—and then she strikes. What happens to her victims next is only part of a terrifying reality.
At once humane and horrifying, Under the Skin takes us on a heart-thumping ride through dangerous territory: our own moral instincts and the boundaries of compassion. A grotesque and comical allegory and a surreal representation of contemporary society run amok, Under the Skin was internationally received as the arrival of an exciting talent, rich and assured.


What the Critics Say

“A fascinating book…The fantastic is so nicely played against the day-to-day that one feels the strangeness of both…Remarkable.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Faber constructs a compelling, unusual tale about species difference and the limits of compassion. Under the Skin blends elements of science fiction, grotesque comedy, horror, and thriller into a genre-jumping meditation.” (Washington Post Book World)
“Original and unsettling, an Animal Farm for the new century…Michel Faber is a strong, moral voice, and this first novel promises great things for the future.” (Wall Street Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Something Different!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

After loving The Crimson Petal and the White, I was excited to read anything else by Faber. The man has a truly unique voice and an odd point of view. In this book, as in The Crimson Petal.., his prose is lovely. The story is something I've never read before, which is always great; however, for all the ugliness in The Crimson Petal, there were moments of hope and humor. In Under the Skin, there is no spot of lightness or humor; all is grey and melancholy. So, I must recommend it with reservations. It's fascinating, the plot and the main character, but it left me with a vague, lasting saddness. If your not prone to such things, read it by all means. The narrator was excellent although occasionally difficult to understand. Her Scottish accents are sometimes too true and hard for an American ear to comprehend.

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- Brenda J. Duge

stays with you, then get the film

novel: I very much like this one. It has some odd SF/horror elements that made me think of Well's Time Machine, not the time element, but the Morlocks and the Eloi. And then there is a little bit of the Man Who Fell to Earth identity confusion/struggle on the alien's behalf.

I don't want to give too much away, but there is a "huntress" looking for men. I thought there'd be a little more of the Piers Anthony Firefly idea but it's not really that at all. I do think a couple of the hunt episodes maybe run long, but not horribly. There is a rather horrific scene involving the men but in general I think the ideas are more horrible than any particular scenes. And in an odd way you come to identify with the girl. Much can be said about the ideas of body image and sexual attraction/predation.

film: If you are interested and want to see a very cool interpretation of this check out the film that just got released on disc/itunes. Artsy, impressionistic, very Kubrick-ian use of image, music, cinematography, and no easy answers and explanations. It is not a strict filming of the novel though but I thought it was fascinating.
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- Darryl

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.