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Publisher's Summary

An incredibly powerful and unsettling thriller, here is the audio edition of Michel Faber’s debut novel, read by Gerri Halligan.

Isserley spends most of her time driving. But why is she so interested in picking up hitchhikers? And why are they always male, well-built, and alone?

An utterly unpredictable and macabre mystery, Michel Faber's debut is an outstanding piece of fiction that will stay with you long after you have finished listening.

©2012 Michel Faber (P)2012 Canongate Books

What listeners say about Under the Skin

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

abrupt ending

spent the whole book on the edge of knowing what was going on and the point of it all, just to end up at what i personally felt was an unsatisfactory ending. the writing itself is phenomonal and the story is kept pace well, its just all the questions unanswered that takes me down a bit. of course im sure this was Fabers intention, but i feel a work so intricately detailed and a world built just beyond reach deserves its specifics revealed.

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Very well done

Enjoyed the story. The narrator was excellent, very good use of different accents and intonations.

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Enthralling macabre story...unexpectedly good read

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes I have recommended it to my book club to stretch us out of our usual comfort zone. The subject matter is macabre and unsavoury, but it's a bit like a road accident...you know you don't want to look but find yourself rubbernecking anyway.

What other book might you compare Under the Skin to and why?

Cannot compare as it is the first I have read of this style

What three words best describe Gerri Halligan’s performance?

Competent, engaging, clear.

Could you see Under the Skin being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Scarlett Johanssen is already being cast in the lead of the movie I think.

Any additional comments?

Worth stepping outside your normal reading comfort zone for this story.

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Buy The Paperback Instead

Although the story was quite enjoyable, I had to stop listening with 4hrs 36mins left on the recording. The sole reason for this was the cringe worthy attempt at Scottish accents for male characters by a female, English narrator. It became painful to listen to at times, so much so that I found it necessary to sacrifice the rest of the story (which I had become very interested in completing) in order to abort mission and listen to the radio instead, (the only station I could find was running a three hour long 80's power-ballad special, which may give you some indication as to the conviction of my opinion on the matter).

I will however order the paperback in order to see the story through. Faber has done a wonderful job of creating a setting for what is shaping up to be a very dark and unpredictable story. I am very much looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Matthew
  • Matthew
  • 01-20-20

Maybe if you’re not Scottish

I’m 30 mins in and the Groundskeeper Willie accent is so distracting and disappointing that I would consider a petition for someone to re-record the official version of this book.
Nothing against the woman who tried but it’s honestly dumbfounding that not a single Scottish actor/actress was asked.
If we ever get independence and people ask why we cared enough, I’ll let them hear this and ask if they wouldn’t have wanted the same. It’s honestly ridiculous that a book set in Scotland can’t be enjoyed by Scottish people.
I want so badly to continue with the story as the film is a personal favourite. SMH.

22 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Annette Wright
  • Annette Wright
  • 09-13-13

Not sure what to make of this book

I bought this following a recommendation from a friend. I struggled to get into it from the beginning and found I had to keep putting it aside to listen to something else. I get the commentary the story is trying to convey but I struggled with the execution. I can't really explain what I mean by that without potentially giving something away about he plot. The story itself was an interesting one. I found the main character difficult to like though and that made it difficult to stick with. She became more likable as the story progressed though. I certainly wouldn't advise against reading/listening to this but equally I'm not sure I can recommend it either. I guess it just wasn't my cup of tea.

15 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Darren - UK
  • Darren - UK
  • 12-11-14

Awful.

What didn’t you like about Gerri Halligan’s performance?

Worst performance ever! Do not be misled by the audio sample she seems like a perfectly good narrator until she tries to affect the characters' accents. Once she starts trying to speak as the characters I can't bear to listen it's so bad. I have stopped listening and I intend to return this book.

Any additional comments?

Unfortunately, I can't comment on the story as the narrator puts me off continuing with the book.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kaggy
  • 05-03-14

A haunting and heartbreaking story

This is a brilliant book. It is sad and bleak but it managed to grip my attention from the very beginning. The dreary and monotonous A road is vividly described along with the majestic beauty of the Scottish landscape. The main character may not deserve sympathy but you can still emphasise with her physical pain and profound loneliness. This is a story about exploitation and how it de-humanises the victims and the perpetrators. There are parts that I found upsetting and I wished they had turned out differently. I'm glad however that Michel Faber steered his own unique path and the result is a tale that has haunted me for days.

The narration was excellent. I particularly liked the slightly Nordic accent of the heroine which fitted in so well with the landscape.








7 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for newyorkhereicome
  • newyorkhereicome
  • 11-25-15

Dreadful writing and accents even worse

Any additional comments?

I couldn't bear to listen to more than 30 minutes
Reading voice ok but accents were dreadful

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mark
  • Mark
  • 06-27-15

shocking and sad

Where does Under the Skin rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was by far the most disturbing, I saw the movie and this was 100 times better

What other book might you compare Under the Skin to, and why?

To kill a mockingbird. That book changed many peoples ideas of attitudes they had always held dear. This book changed my attitude to animal farming.I became a Vegan after reading it. I know sounds dramatic and it surprised me too. 55 year old blokes dont usually act in such a way!

Have you listened to any of Gerri Halligan’s other performances? How does this one compare?

N/A

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes but it involved a Butchers knife so I will let you find out

Any additional comments?

This book haunted me for a while, but made me unexpectedly act

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 07-29-14

Awful book

This is really a terrible book. Lurid imagination. I was not able to finish it.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • knittyboot
  • 05-15-14

Deeply creepy

Any additional comments?

Holy tomoly! Even though I enjoyed this book and it creeped me out completely don't think I'll be listening to it again for a long while. Very disturbing, especially for men I should imagine. Good but disturbing

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MR
  • 03-27-14

wow

Would you listen to Under the Skin again? Why?

yes

Who was your favorite character and why?

the main character issaley is very complex

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

the story makes you think, it is a strange tale

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mr Nigel H Holt
  • Mr Nigel H Holt
  • 07-20-20

Poor Scottish accent

Just couldn’t get into this book. I gave up after
3 hours. Maybe I should have persevered

2 people found this helpful

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  • C.J.R Flanagan
  • 02-03-14

Buy the paperback instead!

Although the story was quite enjoyable, I had to stop listening with 4hrs 36mins left on the recording. The sole reason for this was the cringe worthy attempt at Scottish accents for male characters by a female, English narrator. It became painful to listen to at times, so much so that I found it necessary to sacrifice the rest of the story (which I had become very interested in completing) in order to abort mission and listen to the radio instead.

I will however order the paperback in order to see the story through. Faber has done a wonderful job of creating a setting for what is shaping up to be a very dark and unpredictable story. I am very much looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MR NICHOLAS J EVEN
  • MR NICHOLAS J EVEN
  • 01-22-15

Wierd - not good for the soul

This is a bizarre read and was recommended by an avid sci-fi reader. I don't think it is the type of story that I would like to hear about or talk about. I pretty much picked it toward the end of chapter 2 that the main character Islie drives around profiling hitchhikers to be anesthetised, and surgically turned into "pigs" for sale ... I didn't finish it - just not the kind of thing I would want to encourage out in our world...

In all fairness the narrator has done very well with the Scottish accents from my perspective despite what I have read in other reviews.

.