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Preview — Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim
"I'm tired of it," I said. "I want to dream about something else for a change."
I loved the 2004 film of Mysterious Skin (directed by Gregg Araki) more than I do the original novel. Scott Heim's We Disappear is one of my special favorites that I have read this year (I am a lucky dog and I know it because I have read a lot of favorite novels in 2012). That film and that novel did something that was, to me, astonishingly c...more
The author explores the very different repercussions of childhood sexual trauma for two young boys. It's a heavy subject, and Heim does not shy away from the details of it. The reader is...more
Disclaimer: Some of the writing here is pretty tight in places and I liked the format with different characters revealing different parts of the story... Th...more
Possibly the best writer I have read, words don't convey how good this author is, and how thought provoking and chilling his tale of two boys is. Brian and Neil, total opposites in the spectrum of personalities have a common link: their little league coach, a man who through his actions has affected their lives considerably. You are given an account from when the boys are 8 right through to 19.
At the beginning of the story you get Brian's point of view, a confused eight-year-old who doesn't know...more
The end is kinda beautiful, but I still came away feeling lost, gutted and thoroughly bereft that two young boys could have their innocence brutalized in such a way.
Be warned, this book is not for the faint hearted. It just about broke mine.
I loved this book, really. Having seen the movie prior to reading the novel (which is excellent, by the way. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of my favourite actors and the movie proves it) - I kind of knew more or less what would unravel but admitte...more
Brian and Neil are incredible, to me. I ache for them, I plead for them, I cry for them. The misfortune they share makes them tragic by default, but the separate paths they take to rediscover and face that haunting past is a journey I find remarkable and brillia...more
Couldn't get through this. The book goes from boring YA style story-telling to some extremely graphic sex scenes with school age children. Not my thing. Just couldn't stay with it.
I really loved this novel and I think the main reason for that is because, despite its dark and disturbing subject, it's not trashy. Scott Heim's writing isn't spectacular and provocative just for the sake of shocking the reader like some other authors might do (I'm thinking Palahniuk, for instance). Reversely, it's not a tear-jerker either. It's all very matter-of-fact yet sensitive, and if it's shocking at times, it's only because, again, the subject is so disturbing (I mean, this is a...more
Setting: U.S - Midwest
Two words. Soul crushing, just absolutely soul crushing. Life is tragic, it is beautiful and redemptive, yet it was hard to go through the book with any sort of optimism. Once the milk has been spilled, the stain just won't come out. Things are built up, and they fall to pieces. The characters try their best to pull the pieces back together, but in the end, one just has to keep pushing along, surviving and trying to find som...more
Doloroso, triste, poetico, maledettamente poetico. Un grande romanzo difficile che pur avendo alle spalle una chiara vicenda autobiografica si traduce in una storia amara sulla linea sottile tra amore e perversione. Non è un manifesto contro la violenza, non è un...more
Ok try again...
Enthralling read. Initially I was going to throw it down in disgust as I wasn't quite sure what I was reading at first. However, I'm glad I gave it more reading time as it didn't go where I thought it was going ie, down the titillating, child porn, abuse route. It didn't and it was much much more.
This was an uncomfortable, and sometimes darn...more
As I said, at first I really enjoyed the book, but at some...more
There's something kind of weird about calling a book like this beautiful but there are passage...more
I thought the...more
There is no denying it, this books theme is fucked up. Though the way Heim had written it made it an emotional journey in exploring the truth of what really happens to Brian Lackey. As sad as it is. Heim...more
Every novel that uses Kansas as a setting parades an endless line of freaks, perverts, alcoholics and drug addicts in front of the unsuspecting reader. Mysterious Skin is no different.
This (supposedly) Young Adult book is about a bunch of dysfunctional and mentally ill people who live in America's heartland. They include Neil McCormick, who enjoys being molested by his baseball coach at age 8, his mother, a skanky alcoholic who occasionally has sex in front of h...more
I was a shell of a human being after reading this, but I guess that's...more
Pretty ambitious subject matter for a debut novel, but Scott Heim handles it all with a delicate sense of restraint. The prose is pretty simple, and it makes the tale all the more power...more