Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Untouchable” as Want to Read:
Untouchable
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Untouchable

by
3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  1,727 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
It is the autumn of 1999. A year has passed since Lucy Darby's unexpected death, leaving her husband David and son Whitley to mend the gaping hole in their lives. David, a trauma-site cleanup technician, spends his nights expunging the grisly remains of strangers, helping their families move on, though he is unable to do the same. Whitley—an eleven-year-old social pariah k ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 7th 2012 by F&W Media (first published May 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Untouchable, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Untouchable

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Stephanie
Mar 26, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read over a hundred books on my kindle in the past year. This is the one that stayed with me. It dark and heartbreaking, human pain is exposed to the core. I never stopped to think what was coming next in this book cause I wanted to listen to the author. It hurts to read this book but it was a story worth hurting for.
Kathleen Valentine
This is a very disturbing and yet fascinating book. David Darby is a big, tattooed technician for a trauma-site clean-up crew. He spends every night cleaning up the remains of suicide and murders. His son, Whitley, called The Kid, is a sixth-grader who is a talented artist but who is badly bullied at school. Darby's wife / The Kid's mother, Lucy, died under some fairly mysterious circumstances a year earlier and since her death Darby has not been able to sleep in the house and The Kid has not sp ...more
kingdomofbookss
Nov 29, 2015 kingdomofbookss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*cries*
Joan Curtis
Oct 08, 2012 Joan Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a tough read. It's about how a father and son deal with extreme grief after the sudden loss of their wife/mother. The book really looks at denial (the Kid) and reaction formation (the dad). The shock of the mother's death sent both father and son nearly over the edge. As a reader, you are in the two main character's point of view.

As the child (or The Kid) in the book, you begin to doubt (or I did) whether or not the mother is really dead (I'll not give anything away). You go into d
...more
Andrew #2!
May 21, 2012 Andrew #2! rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
3.75

I struggled to put a rating on this one. It isn't because it's a bad book but it's not a book to fall in love with. Most people aren't going to like this book. It's not a happy book. This isn't a book you take to the beach to read while you're laying out. This is a book that saddens you.

"Untouchable" is the story of a broken family and an examination of how profoundly each member of the family is devastated by the destruction of that family unit. I won't rehash the plot - there's a book summ
...more
Jeanne
Oct 13, 2011 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adults forget how children view the world, how they process information.

Mom (Lucy) is missing from the Darby family. Dad (David) tells one story. The son, Whitley a/k/a"The Kid" has a completely different version of what happened to his mother. Both father and son are consumed by grief and are adrift in a sea of pain. They are unable to connect at a time when the need is critical.

As if losing one's mother is not bad enough, The Kid is also the victim of horrendous bullying. Do parents ever real
...more
Chris Witkowski
Aug 03, 2011 Chris Witkowski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartbreaking story of a father and son as they navigate life in the year following the death of Lucy, wife and mother. The most realistic rendering of magical thinking that I have ever read. What Whit does (or doesn't do) to get his mother back is breathtaking. Sad, painful story that ultimately ends in hope. Highly recommend.
Carol
Sep 04, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intense, compelling story of the separate, simultaneous ordeals of father and son following the death of the woman in the center of their family. It's dark, but not sentimental, a real page-turner, very well written.
Marnie
Dec 28, 2016 Marnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
A different kind of read, but interesting none the less. A little boy who is an outcast at school and also mute has lost his mother. His father works as a clean up mostly of post crimes. Both are dealing with the death of their wife/mother, and it takes a lot for them to heal. In the end, they both realize that each other are hurting in their own ways, but need and love each other.
Jamie
Mar 01, 2012 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this one 3.5 stars, really. It's the kind of book that still has me thinking about it after I'm done reading it, and in that sense it is a great book. But then, it's so sad and depressing and I wanted to cry for Darby and Whitley over and over. Again, that's probably what makes it a great book, but I can't give it 4 stars, and I definitely can't recommend it to all my friends, and I can't say that I loved it. There were parts I loved.

I loved the flashbacks - I loved how we got to kn
...more
Larry Hoffer
It takes a talented writer to keep you reading a book that gets bleaker and bleaker, but Scott O'Connor definitely fits that bill. Untouchable is, for the most part, a book in which the situations the main characters find themselves are getting increasingly hopeless, and at some point they need to decide whether it's worth fighting at all.

It's the fall of 1999, nearly a year since Lucy Darby's sudden death. Her husband, David, a crime scene clean-up technician, immerses himself in helping others
...more
Stephanie
Nov 05, 2011 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grown-up
Untouchable by Scott O'Connor
high school & up

It has been almost a year since Lucy Darby died. Her husband and son are not coping well with the loss. Darby is a trauma site technician; in other words, he cleans up the mess left behind by suicides and murders. His son, Whitley, know mostly as "the Kid" hasn't spoken since shortly after Lucy's death. He believes that his mom has left because she was tired of him and he hopes that by not speaking he will convince her he is different so that she
...more
Dawn
Oct 19, 2012 Dawn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a ‘Free Friday’ selection for the Nook that I downloaded a while ago. I’ve not had great luck with many of the free books, and I’m beginning to realize that there’s a reason why they’re free. The book had an interesting concept and I think it had potential. Unfortunately, the author just didn’t make it work. The story was sort of all over the place with a father and son dealing with (or NOT dealing with) the death of their wife and mother. The author switched between the father and ‘the ...more
Ron
May 23, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will let the Amazon.com description suffice: It is the autumn of 1999. A year has passed since Lucy Darby's unexpected death, leaving her husband David and son Whitley to mend the gaping hole in their lives. David, a trauma-site cleanup technician, spends his nights expunging the violent remains of strangers, helping their families to move on, though he is unable to do the same. Whitley--an 11-year-old social pariah known simply as The Kid--hasn't spoken since his mother's death. Instead, he c ...more
Judy
Aug 28, 2011 Judy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like stories with children in them. This one had a boy, troubled by the death of his mother so his covenant involved silence. For more than a year, he spoke not at all. He, however, was a victim of bullying and that upset me. In addition, his father had his own problems. Both of these characters were not especially appealing, even tho I did feel sorry for them. The few incidental characters were also unappealing. The story revolved around the mother's death. This was a free download to my Kind ...more
Kate Maruyama
Nov 13, 2012 Kate Maruyama rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O’Connor paints a very vivid LA, as our story takes place on the edge of Echo Park just off Sunset and at the Everclean cleaning service in a lost corner of Glendale overlooking the river–a corner I happen to know well. The writer gives us details of streets, textures, colors and things to look at without bogging us down in geographical details—there’s no “at the corner of this and that, where the metro stop is.” It’s a case for letting your reader get into a physical space, rather than worrying ...more
Brandie Lagarde
I have been 'reading' this book that i downloaded for free many months ago. I have read about five other books while reading this. I can't explain why I keep going back to it because the narrative is very frustrating, with no flashback breaks or definitive character point of view breaks, but I keep returning to it. It's like a morbid train wreck that you just can't let go. Right now I'm at the point of finding out what happened to Michelle and Darby is truly losing it. I can't rate how i feel ab ...more
Sherrie
Untouchable is not the type of book that will appeal to many readers. This is a emotionally raw, gritty and heartbreaking story. David Darby and his son, Whitley are still reeling from the unexpected death of their wife and mother, Lucy. They are still struggling to come to terms with her death and are not doing well. Darby's crime scene clean up job is stressing him out and the Kid is abused and tormented in school. This was a hard book to read but it was well written and believable. The author ...more
Karen
Feb 25, 2013 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firstreads-win
I'd like to thank Goodreads First-Reads for this free book I won through their giveaway.

I really wanted to like this book and I'm not sure what it was about it that made it seem so much longer than it was. Maybe it was the endless descriptions of meaningless tasks that made it so laborious to continue reading. Maybe it was the characters that were so flawed that they needed a lifetime session with Dr. Phil. Maybe it was the darkness that surrounded the characters and their lack of seeking help
...more
Tom
Aug 30, 2011 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine writing about twenty first person stories by a troubled father and equally troubled 12 year old son. Then cut the stories into lengths of a a half a page to a couple of pages and randomly interleave them. Insert no transitions separating any of the interleaved sections. With this, you will have the narrative style.

The odd narrative style, in this case, complements the complex emotional and communicative problems of the family – what is true and what is not? Do they even know?. It’s hard
...more
Su
Aug 22, 2011 Su rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa. This book was emotionally draining and yet at the same time, very difficult to stop reading. The main characters are a father and his sixth grade son. I hate to think that the brutality the boy endures by classmates is remotely possible in today's schools, but I imagine it is probably true. The two of them are at a pivotal point in their lives and the reader really doesn't know until the end how they will survive it all. Very good, very sad.
Samantha
Feb 05, 2017 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is a no-nonsense, tell it like it is, heart-rending tale that makes you never want to put it down
Mark Stevens
Oct 29, 2015 Mark Stevens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written with a rich and cool-eyed empathy for its two central characters, this is one of those books that lays down its own rules for story-telling and carries the same unwavering style from first sentence to last.

Untouchable is a father-son story about loss, empathy, love, denial, disaffection, homes, families, and reputations. Set in Los Angeles prior to Y2K, the story features David Darby, a specialist in cleaning up rooms after messy deaths, and his son, The Kid. The Kid is Whitley and he ha
...more
Holly
Dec 31, 2011 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DESCRIPTION
The months leading up to the 1-year anniversary of Lucy's death find her husband Darby and son "The Kid" struggling to come to terms with their loss. Both father and son have unwittingly abandoned each other as they travel down isolated paths of grief. As the 1-year mark approaches, Darby finds his life unraveling and his son slipping further away. Both must face the truth if they have any hope of finding each other again.

CONCEPT/PLOT - 5 stars
This was a truly sad but uplifting story.
...more
Suzy
Jan 28, 2016 Suzy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Autumn '99. A year has passed since Lucy Darby's unexpected death, leaving her husband David and son Whitley to ment the gaping hole in their lives. David, a trauma-site cleanup technician, spends his nights expunging the violent remains of strangers, helping their families to move on, though he is unable to do the same. Whitley - an 11 year-old social pariah known simply as The Kid - hasn't spoken since his mother's death. Instead, he communicates through a growing collection of notebooks, livi ...more
Erin
Jan 26, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First off, Goodreads really needs to allow half stars. This book would have gotten 2.5.

This was a slow, sad and depressing book.

Darby and his son, "The Kid", are still reeling from the death of their wife/mother a year later. Darby is haunted by her death and deals by blocking things out. The Kid deals by not speaking since his mothers death.

This book made me mad. It had the story line of a great book but the way it was laid out and written ruined it for me.

The writing wasn't terrible. O'Connor
...more
Jeanne
Apr 29, 2012 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Scott O’Connor’s novel, Untouchable, weaves together the way people live at the horizon of death. With a remarkably clear voice that at times is screaming silently: one that adjusts to speak what a child cannot say, a father cannot hear, or a city cannot speak — O’Connor maps the territory of dread and despair that makes the reader ache, that will not let the reader alone not even after the book is done...
Written with precise, almost Hemingway-esque language, O’Connor has written a story that is
...more
Luane
Apr 20, 2013 Luane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written and haunting in both the despair of the characters that the author conveys and the simple, exquisite prose that felt raw and ethereal at the same time. The first chapter was striking and continued in the same manner throughout the book. It was hard to believe that such gruesome imagery could be depicted so gracefully and the details so well captured. The plot is simple. Father (Darby) and son (the Kid) come to terms with the tragic loss of wife and mother, both who have dealt ...more
Jennifer Jones
The first thing this book did for me, was give me a HUGE amount of respect for my friends who own a crime scene cleanup agency. It's not something people want to think about, the "what happens 'after'" aspect, but this book makes you do just that. Suicides, accidentals, murders; it's all in there. But, he does it in a way that is not in-your-face gore.
The author introduces us to two main characters a year after their wife/mother died. David is the husband/father and is a crime scene technician.
...more
Czbratstergmail.com
This book reminds me of a broken record that keeps repeating itself and never goes anywhere. By page 270 of 380 I chucked it the bin. Oddly, the writing is good - it's the plot development that needs work.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Summer of Fire (Yellowstone, #1)
  • First, There Is a River (Spirit of the River, #1)
  • The Hunt
  • County Line
  • The Journey Home
  • The Front Porch Prophet
  • Dead Politician Society (Clare Vengel Undercover, #1)
  • The Blue Light Project
  • From the Ashes
  • Dark Legacy
  • Blood Ties (PI Julie Collins, #1)
  • Moscow Sting (Anna Resnikov, #2)
  • The Devil's Cradle (Kendall O'Dell #2)
  • A World I Never Made
  • Retirementology: Rethinking the American Dream in a New Economy
  • Needle in a Haystack
  • Blue
  • Protector
683247
Scott O’Connor was born in Syracuse, New York. 'Among Wolves', his 2004 novella about a boy who believes his parents have been replaced by imposters, was praised by the Los Angeles Times Book Review for its “crisp, take-no-prisoners style.”

'Untouchable', his first novel, will be published by Tyrus Books in May, 2011. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.

More about Scott O'Connor...

Share This Book



No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“They keep track of time. Sometimes things happen and you feel that you need to mark them down.” 32 likes
“It's harder to be afraid of something you understand” 1 likes
More quotes…