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Under the Skin inc Spoilers

(17 Posts)
Rollermum Fri 09-Jan-15 16:59:16

Anyone read this? I picked it up at the library because I enjoyed The Crimson Petal and the White.

Wow, such a different book! Sci fi, dark, traumatic. I was hooked and couldn't put it down, which doesn't happen much anymore, even though I winced quite a bit.

Anyone read it and fancy a chat about it?

I wondered if he had a vegan agenda. I also expected Isserley to have a crisis of conscience at some point and feel remorse, which I don't think she did really. The ending sort of disappointed me, though I'm not sure what I would have preferred.

It was also darkly funny in places.

I haven't seen the film, but watched an online review that was pretty detailed. It looks like the most memorable farming bits aren't included in the same way. And that there are men from her home planet who watch her out in the world. And she doesn't have such an odd appearance - so a lot if the nuances from the book are lost, which is to be expected I guess.

Westendgal Fri 09-Jan-15 17:05:15

I read it and loved it. Can't do a link, sorry, but there was a thread on here not so long ago about the book....

Rollermum Fri 09-Jan-15 17:06:44

Ah, thanks I will look again. I tried a search but loads of skin conditions came up grin

MostAmused Fri 09-Jan-15 17:22:58

I read it at school for English so I have some of the quotes drilled into my brain. "Half Baywatch babe, half littel old lady."!

I really enjoyed it and have since read it again. I've not seen the movie as it seems totally different and i get the impression it misses many of the nuances such as the mirroring of the human races' destruction of the planet and our attitude to the meat industry and intensive farming was also a big theme and it did make me consider where my food came to be on my plate.
TBH I'm not sure how they could have done a film to really do the book justice because a lot of it takes place in her head.

I found the last hitchhiker sequence really sad but maybe that's because I was so desperate for Isserley to find happiness that I wanted them to speak to each other. So she could realise that she has something in common with a human and sort of find her place somewhere. I think it ended how it should have done though.
Michel Faber's writing is amazing in this book though I've never tried any of his others.
Apparently he lives near Inverness (or at least used to) and would go up to people at the train platform and randomly ask them home for tea and cake. So he's a little odd himself!

Rollermum Fri 09-Jan-15 18:59:31

Yep I completely agree on the nuances and how hard that would be to film.

Also yes, I really wanted her to have a happy ending even though she remained pretty heartless. Such an interesting character.

Michael Faber sounds amazing.

Apparently in the film some of then men she approaches in the street were just members of the public who later agreed to be in the film.

Sallystyle Fri 09-Jan-15 22:48:06

Loved it, as did my husband.

I thought she was meant to be really unattractive, so when I saw who they cast in the film I didn't bother watching it because I knew the film would be nothing like the book in my head.

MostAmused Sat 10-Jan-15 09:56:52

So is the film not based around hitchhiking? Like does she just go up to randoms in the street?!

U2 that's exactly what I thought when I saw her. She can play weird roles quite well but I don't think they did enough to make her look weird.

Wish I could remember more about the book now as it was a few years back I re-read it. I remember the "Ungh! Ungh!" of the Vodsels being particularly disturbing and that whole sequence where one escapes and you just hope he'll make it out and he doesn't!

Rollermum Sat 10-Jan-15 10:41:30

U2 yes, I agree it seems an odd choice. I thought they'd give more away with her appearance but I think she just entirely sheds her skin at the end, but looks normal the rest of the time. Her surgery and discomfort seemed such a part of the book.

MostAmused she drives a van but in a crowded town and talks to randoms out the window. I think she picks them up in clubs and the street and takes them back to her flat where they get dissolved but it looked quite gentle! It didn't look anywhere near as bad as the scene you mentioned. Shudder.

This review of the film is short and you get the gist without having to watch it (again, spoilers!) Also there is a traumatic bit about an abandoned baby which is new. Spot the hormonal mum.

MostAmused Sat 10-Jan-15 16:04:08

Hmm from that review the movie seems so one dimensional in comparison to the book. and they got rid of her little car?! She treated it like a pet which showed her strange ability to empathise with things other than humans. Also looks like they missed an opportunity to show some beautiful Scottish scenery since the movie looks very much to be in the centre of Glasgow. Isserley looks like she's supposed to be rather clueless? She's very clever in the book even in the face of things she doesn't undestand.

I just re-read the last few pages and I got the hitchhikers wrong. I thought the last guy she picked up was the one she could relate to but neither speaks but she took him out of panic as she was losing grip on her job responsibilities. The last guy is the one with the baby on the way and he babbles on about the circle of life and how a baby being born is like immortality. So it's like he lives on through his baby. There's so many themes. Faber is so clever!

CoteDAzur Sun 11-Jan-15 11:43:28

The film is quite idiotic and just awful. I was really excited about seeing it, too. Scarlet Johansson as an alien - how can it go wrong? hmm DH, DB, and DSil often mention it as the worst film they have ever suffered, and it doesn't look likely that I will ever be allowed to choose a film again.

SandraWood Tue 13-Jan-15 10:54:51

Great book. Whilst disturbing and rewarding in itself, it also led me to discover the incredible music of John Martyn!

Rollermum Tue 13-Jan-15 19:05:03

Ha! That's cool Sandra, I don't think I realised he was real.

SandraWood Wed 14-Jan-15 09:44:58

rollermum try the Solid Air and the One World albums - great late night music, goes down very well with red wine!

NadiaWadia Fri 16-Jan-15 02:45:39

Here's a link to the previous discussion on this:

Rollermum Fri 16-Jan-15 13:18:19

Thanks for the recommendations Sandra

And thanks for the link Nadia

BringMeTea Mon 19-Jan-15 04:24:53

I thought she was supposed to be attractive to humans just ugly to her 'own' so casting a beauty would fit. Having said that I have no inclination to see the film as apparently nothing like true to the book.

Rollermum Mon 19-Jan-15 09:28:25

I think she's supposed to attractive to the hitchhikers - hence the huge noobs - but in a good light she looks odd to them. I was expecting them to make Scarlett J to look a bit odder.

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