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Extended Audio Sample Under the Skin Audiobook, by Michel Faber Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.86 out of 53.86 out of 53.86 out of 53.86 out of 53.86 out of 5 3.86 (21 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michel Faber Narrator: Fiona Hardingham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781470832742
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Hailed as “original and unsettling, an Animal Farm for the new century” (Wall Street Journal), this debut novel lingers long after the last page has been turned.

A “fascinating psychological thriller” (Baltimore Sun), this entrancing novel introduces Isserley, a female driver who scouts the Scottish highlands for male hitchhikers with big muscles. She herself is tiny—like a kid peering up over the steering wheel. Scarred and awkward, yet strangely erotic and threatening, Isserley listens to her passengers as they open up to her, revealing clues about who might miss them should they disappear—and then she strikes. What happens to her victims next is only part of a terrifying reality.

At once humane and horrifying, Under the Skin takes us on a heart-thumping ride through dangerous territory: our own moral instincts and the boundaries of compassion. A grotesque and comical allegory and a surreal representation of contemporary society run amok, Under the Skin was internationally received as the arrival of an exciting talent, rich and assured.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A wonderful book—painful, lyrical, frightening, brilliant…I couldn’t put it down.”

    Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The fantastic is so nicely played against the day-to-day that one feels the strangeness of both.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Faber constructs a compelling, unusual tale about species difference and the limits of compassion. Under the Skin blends elements of science fiction, grotesque comedy, horror, and thriller into a genre-jumping meditation.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Original and unsettling, an Animal Farm for the new century…Michel Faber is a strong, moral voice, and this first novel promises great things for the future.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A ride deep into a misanthropic hinterland.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “A satiric novel eerie and touching in equal parts…Under the Skin sits squarely within the tradition of the British satire, and one is bound to recall the features of Swift’s boorish Yahoos…and peaceful Eloi of H. G. Wells’ dark, technological century’s-end fantasy, The Time Machine.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A fascinating psychological thriller…[that] hovers between the real and the fantastic.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “An extraordinary book that touches on the most profound issues of the human condition.”

    Times (London)

  • “A coolly imaginative and shocking novel.”

    Times Literary Supplement (London)

  • “[Under the Skin] uses devices borrowed from the suspense-thriller and science fiction genres to create a vivid portrait of a world that is both wildly improbable and frighteningly real.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “A fantastic first novel, a great first novel, so intelligently and beautifully made a book as to deserve a wide readership.”

    Boston Book Review

  • “Notwithstanding the clever characterization, the real triumph is Faber’s prose. This is a man who could give Conrad a run at writing the perfect sentence.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “[A] riveting horror novel…Perfectly chilling.”

    Mademoiselle

  • Under the Skin is a compulsive read and remains a lyrical and disturbing allegorical meditation on human appetites, morality, and essence.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Profound and disturbing.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Alternately gorgeous and terrifying, lyrical and brutal, Under the Skin compels and teases…A growing need to turn the pages sneaks up on you…So satisfying and successful.”

    Newsday

  • “Faber’s pacing here is masterful, with clues precisely dropped and details ominously described…The Dutch-born and Australian-raised Faber is a strange and promising new talent.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “As suspenseful and creepy as the first third of Psycho. An artful moral parable…in the mode of Brave New World and Animal Farm.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A wildly imaginative, scorching, bizarre, and insidious first novel.”

    BookPage

  • “An eerie debut novel, turns the Scottish Highlands into a landscape from The Twilight Zone…Highly compelling, enhanced by the superbly evoked imagery of the Highlands.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Whitbread Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Florence Penrice | 2/20/2014

    " I was lucky enough to read this book with no preconceptions of what it was about. It is one of the most thought-provoking things that I have read, and have been recommending it to friends ever since. It is gory in parts - I had to skip one particular section, but this is appropriate in the book. I dread to think what the upcoming film will make of it however. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristi | 2/16/2014

    " Gripping but disappointing ending . . and I don't know if I'll ever enjoy a good steak again! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maz Loton | 2/9/2014

    " A part of me wants to give this book five stars for pure originality. It really is unlike anything I have ever read and I doubt I will come across anything like it again. It turns the tables on the issues of meat-eating versus vegetarianism, raising really important questions on morality and ethics. However, past this, it falls flat. A moral story only works within the confines of a tightly written plot, which unfortunately has a lot of holes in. The story has nowhere to go, and who the characters are is never really answered. This book could have been a genius, but just doesn't quite make it. Maybe I expected too much being the writer of the most amazing Crimson Petal and the White, but it just didn't deliver to its full potential. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blazej | 1/28/2014

    " For the first couple of chapters Michel Faber skilfully cajoled me into wanting to keep on reading. I just felt thrown off my stride a bit, I wanted things to get clearer. They did and then I started wondering what the author wanted to get across to me. I still don't know that after I've finished reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rona Simanu | 1/27/2014

    " one of the best I've read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Iain Macleod | 1/12/2014

    " Really enjoyed this one but I wish I came to it without knowing the secret of Isserley. Although it is revealed quite early on in a manner that still horrifies and later disgusts and slightly enrages, I can't help but wonder how much my mind would have been blown if I did not know. Still there is a lot more to enjoy, especially Faber's descriptions and evocations of the A9 and all the other Highland roads I have to travel on my visits home. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aj Dissimulé | 12/28/2013

    " Another great book by a very clever author. Makes you look at our diet in a new way! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 12/21/2013

    " Skin-crawlingly creepy, but utterly compelling... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marshaferz | 12/18/2013

    " Preachy, preachy, preachy. I was fine with it while it had a mysterious vibe, but the more that was revealed, the more I rolled my eyes. Very heavy handed, though the writing style is pleasant. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jackie | 12/10/2013

    " I gave it two stars but it is worth checking out if only for the very unusual subject matter, which I can't reveal w/o spoiling some of the surprise this book holds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Val Quigley | 12/6/2013

    " Viv read this one first then handed it to me saying "see what you think of this". It is the most intriguing atmospheric unusual read. Read it, READ IT I tell you - NOW. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/2/2013

    " An unusual premise, but characterisation is excellent and description is likely to turn your stomach!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Reagan | 11/14/2013

    " Very weird...but good. Didn't like the ending "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noreen | 9/27/2013

    " A strange book that is very interesting. It deals with definitions of what is human, the meaning and complications of compassion and conscious. But it's well-written and entertaining in a bizarre way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nina | 8/7/2013

    " A surprising and well imagined book, I felt that it brought up a huge number of human flaws in our treatment of other living creatures. It was a good story and an intensely weird read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kranthi Askani | 7/23/2013

    " the opening pages were so full of promise...prose so good....but somehow, by the time i read half of it, i realised.....it was not going anywhere....sort of turgid and lacked energy in narration...it was such a drag....such promise wasted... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Orin | 3/24/2013

    " The creepiness is masterfully handled. I can only advise readers to surrender to the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kc Steiger | 2/9/2013

    " Masterpiece of originality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yolonda | 12/31/2012

    " should be a movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 10/19/2012

    " Very weird book but I really enjoyed it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendi | 9/17/2012

    " This is one of my favorites! "

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About the Author
Author Michel Faber

Michel Faber’s work has been published in twenty countries and has received several literary awards. The author of The Crimson Petal and the White, he is a graduate of Melbourne University and has worked as a nurse, a pickle packer, a cleaner, and a guinea pig for medical research. Born in the Netherlands, he emigrated to Australia when he was seven and now lives in Scotland.

About the Narrator

Fiona Hardingham is a British-born actress, singer, voice-over artist, and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. On stage, she appeared at the Edinburgh Festival in her comedic one-woman show The Dark Show. She has also starred in the dark-comedy short film The Ballerino. She earned a BA honors degree in performing arts from Middlesex University, London, and also studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.