Lost Memory of Skin
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Lost Memory of Skin

3.59 (5,930 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Suspended in a strangely modern-day version of limbo, a young man must create a life for himself in the wake of incarceration. Known only as the Kid, and on probation after doing time for a liaison with an underage girl, he is shackled to a GPS monitoring device and forbidden to live within 2,500 feet of anywhere children might gather. With nowhere else to go, the Kid takes up residence in a makeshift encampment with other convicted sex offenders.

Barely beyond childhood himself, the Kid is in many ways an innocent, trapped by impulses and foolish choices. Enter the Professor, a man who has built his own life on secrets and lies. A university sociologist of enormous size and intellect, he finds in the Kid the perfect subject for his research on homelessness and reoffending sex offenders. The two men forge a tentative partnership. But when the Professor's past resurfaces and threatens to destroy his carefully constructed world, the balance in the two men's relationship shifts.

Suddenly, the Kid must reconsider everything he has come to believe, and choose what course of action to take when faced with a new kind of moral decision.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 30mm | 340.19g
  • The Clerkenwell Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 184668577X
  • 9781846685774
  • 318,686

Review Text

The opening pages of Lost Memory of Skin are the most electrifying I've read in a while Sunday Times
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Review quote

The opening pages of Lost Memory of Skin are the most electrifying I've read in a while * Sunday Times * Banks is one of the United States' bravest, most daring writers * Irish Times * Russell Banks tackles hard subjects with verve and courage, and Lost Memory of Skin takes us into the dark side of the dark side. Five stars. -- Margaret Atwood, New York Times bestselling author The uncompromising moral voice of our time -- Michael Ondaatje If you've never read Russell Banks it's time you acquired the habit -- Elmore Leonard Of the many writers working in the great tradition today, one of the best is Russell Banks. -- Jonathan Franzen We live in perilous, creepy times. We toy recklessly with brand-new capacities for ruination. We bring the most human impulses to the least human means of expressing them, and we may not see the damage we do until it becomes irrevocable. Mr. Banks, whose great works resonate with such heart and soul, brings his full narrative powers to bear on illuminating this still largely unexplored new terrain -- Janet Maslin * New York Times * Banks is one of those precious writers like Twain or Salinger who creates a voice so wonderfully real that the experience of reading them is like a conversation with an old friend * Sunday Times * Like our living literary giants Toni Morrison and Thomas Pynchon, Russell Banks is a great writer wrestling with the hidden secrets and explosive realities of this country -- Cornel West I trust his portrait of America more than any other-the burden of it, the need for it, the hell of it. -- Michael Ondaatje Russell Banks's new novel is as haunting as its title. Lost Memory of Skin plumbs the shadowy sub-basement of American society, circa right now. This is Banks with all his stars out: the spring-loaded sentence, the searing moral clarity, the knowing heart. Lost Memory of Skin shows a living master at the height of his powers. It is a gripping and important book. -- Jennifer Haigh, author of 2004 PEN/Hemingway Award winner Mrs. Kimble and New York Times bestseller and 2006 PEN/L.L. Winship Award winner Baker Towers Russell Banks is a writer of extraordinary power. * Boston Globe * A canonical book for our time * New York Times * Always, Banks writes with trembling knowledge, conviction, and authenticity. * Chicago Tribune * Russell Banks knows everything worth knowing...and much, much more. * Washington Post Book World * Wrenching, panoramic ... suspenseful -- Janet Maslin * New York Times * Banks is too nuanced a writer to make his central character simply a study in victimhood, and the Kid isn't one for self-pity, which would smack of weakness. Yet there is more than a touch of "j'accuse" about the book. It points its finger at a society that has mistaken the easy gratification of the virtual world with reality, skin flicks for actual skin ... The novel sings brightest when it gives itself up to his guileless stream of consciousness, and is at its most persuasive and tender as it charts his growing self-awareness * Financial Times * Banks is one of the United States' bravest, most daring writers ... As well as being courageous, Banks is moralistic, an old style polemicist unafraid of portraying technology as a serpent in the garden ... The strength opf the book, as of Banks the writer, is an enduring belief in the grey area. Very little about this novel is black and white ... Banks can be angry and is often righteous, and there are elements of both in this novel. But his humanity shines through ... Yet again Russell Banks, as committed a commentator as Don DeLillo, looks to - and at - his country in a novel that is uncompromising on the subject of compromise. This is a tough book, raising uncomfortable issues. Banks is dogged and determined, a visionary realist who believes in testing fiction - and his readers. Here is an unsettling narrative that will leave one queasy and sheepish on the question of right and wrong and good and evil. It also testifies to the validity of story as both entertainment and polemic. There may, perhaps, be better novels, but few are as important or as cautionary -- Eileen Battersby * Irish Times * A superb prose-stylist * Independent * Russell Banks is the master of moral ambiguity * Australian Financial Review *
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About Russell Banks

One of America's most prestigious fiction writers, Russell Banks is president of the International Parliament of Writers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous international prizes and awards. He lives in upstate New York.
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Rating details

5,930 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1,037)
4 40% (2,370)
3 30% (1,764)
2 10% (575)
1 3% (184)
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