K's Reviews > Lost Memory of Skin

Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: intense-sad-dark-or-bleak, should-ve-been-shorter, we-re-all-going-to-hell
Recommended to K by: M
Read from April 10 to 15, 2012

Hmm. I really did like the premise of this one. Banks takes a young sex offender and makes him sympathetic, giving him a minor offense (one which ends up being largely theoretical when all is said and done) which is understandable in the context of his sad childhood and incredible social isolation and lack of nurturing. The offender, called "the Kid," must take up residence under a causeway together with other offenders who are rendered homeless by restrictions forbidding them to live within a certain radius of places where kids gather. A professor with secrets of his own takes an interest in the Kid and in this situation in general and forms a relationship of sorts with him, only to have this relationship end when the professor's own damaging past catches up with him.

It sounded great on paper and in fact had its moments; unfortunately, reading this 400+ page book was a major slog with not a great deal happening. Although there was a story here, I spent most of my reading time inside the head of one character or another which would have been fine in smaller doses but not as the vast majority of this very long book.

I have a lot of respect for Banks as a writer and was a fan of The Sweet Hereafter; this book, however, needed a more patient reader.
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Reading Progress

04/10/2012 "Pushing this one off for now -- just found out I can't renew "Maisie Dobbs," so I'd rather finish that first."
07/31/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by M (new) - rated it 4 stars

M Maybe I need less of a story? Im seeing a pattern with the books we differ on. I also think that's true in how I write.

message 2: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K I'm seeing that too, although I still usually do better with your recommendations.

message 3: by Leanne (new) - added it

Leanne I felt the same way. I found myself making myself read instead of actually wanting to read the book. Just couldn't get through it and I loved The Sweet Hereafter so I was a little disappointed.

message 4: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K Thanks, Leanne. I felt exactly the same way.

message 5: by Larry (new) - added it

Larry Boller I totally agree with your review. Finishing this one was a chore even though I like the author and the premise. Not one of his best.

message 6: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K Thanks, Larry. I'd still try another of his books though.

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