Some book clubs plan their reading list and meeting schedule a year in advance. Friends, that is not my book club. We’re what I’d like to call “charmingly” disorganized; we often don’t know when or where we’re going to meet until the day before.
So when we spontaneously decided to meet at the Taproom this Tuesday to talk about Michel Faber’s Under the Skin , I knew I had to get reading… fast. Because books about Scottish alien cannibal women do not lend themselves well to spoilers.
You guys, Under the Skin is the most fun I’ve had reading since Gone Girl in June. Part morality tale, part horror story, and part dystopian sci-fi, it’s a lightning-paced read with a serious literary backbone, featuring an embattled, tough-as-nails heroine. Better yet, it taps into pop-culture’s beloved hitchhiking motif, but in totally new and unexpected ways. I promise you’ll want to hitchhike even less after reading this book.
Although I don’t typically read horror or sci-fi, I loved Under the Skin. It’s a genre-bending tale in the vein of some of the best science fiction classics out there: 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451; the genre is such a great vehicle for exploring those big juicy human questions, and Faber writes with such economy and control. And if you’ve ever been in a book club, you’re hip to the fact that they’re fabulous for getting you to pick up stuff you might not have read on your own.
You might already know Michel Faber as the writer behind the awesome historical mini series The Crimson Petal and the White. But he’s about to enter pop-culture consciousness in another big way — Scarlett Johansson is slated to take the screen as the leading lady in the film adaptation of Under the Skin, due out next month. If you want to read the book first, here’s a tip — the audio version is worth it for the Scottish accents alone.