When I lived in England, a dear friend of mine in London strongly encouraged me to read Under the Skin by Michael Faber. She was vague regarding the genre and provided very little information about the book to me. The cover was different than the one pictured with few details about its contents. My friend was well-read, we had similar interests. I trusted her judgment and accepted her offer to borrow her copy.
Under the Skin was a quick and fascinating read. I found myself engrossed in it from start to finish. I eventually understood why my friend was so guarded about the story. While I read it, there were many times I felt like a voyeur in a moving car who had slowed down to observe an accident, not able to look away from disturbing scenes. A significant subplot developed that came to an uncomfortable, grotesque head by the end.
The film was released in the US in April 2014. I was motivated to see it; however, I didn’t like it when I did. For the theatergoers who hadn’t read Under the Skin, I wondered what they thought about the movie. Scarlett Johansson did a good job. Some scenes were visually jarring and stunning in their effects. The major subplot that I mentioned that’s in the book wasn’t in the film. Its role was significant in the story in order to understand why the protagonist behaved the way she did.
The book was great and I highly recommend it. I didn’t think the movie made any sense though, rarely did it resemble the original story.
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