It seems that with every novel I buy there’s a story behind it. You could say a story behind a story. Well here’s my Under the Skin one.
I had ordered the book on the merit of its blurb. I usually go for anything that is weird and disturbing (in fact this challenge has helped me appreciate more elegant works). This was in 2002 and amazon.co.uk was still my main source of books. I had also ordered Clinic’s second album Walking with Thee so it must have been February of that year.
Also during this time I had just been inducted into full-time status at the bookstore and it was doing very well, I was earning a bit of money , I was young so I didn’t really care about my future and i was enjoying life, one of my main pleasures was ordering cds and books from the internet – I found it to be quite fascinating. I also had flexible hours and at that day I must have had the 16:00 – 19:00 shift.
So there I was relaxing and I hear the clunk of the mailbox and inside that fiddly cardboard wrapping there was Under the Skin. I opened the book and was glued to my chair for a good few hours. When it was time for work I read it while waiting for the bus and I read it at work. After I finished it I felt very satisfied.
To this day Under the Skin has burnt many images in my mind and it’s not only the more visceral parts of the book but it’s satire on the farming industry which made me shiver. As such I really cannot summarise this book as i’ll spoil the plot completely. I will say that it involves a woman who picks up muscular hitch hikers and incorporates them in her plans. Eventually she see’s the bigger picture of her actions and undergoes a change, now for better or worse it’s up to you. However Under the Skin, as I mentioned is basically a satire on the farming industry and sexual and ethical morals. It’s book that works on many levels and although many could be put of by its ambiguous ending you have to look deeper and it’s message will be clearer.