Lost Memory of Skin

Lost Memory of Skin

Book - 2011
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Random House, Inc.
The author of Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone and The Sweet Hereafter returns with a very original, riveting mystery about a young outcast, and a contemporary tale of guilt and redemption.

The perfect convergence of writer and subject, Lost Memory of Skin probes the zeitgeist of a troubled society where zero tolerance has erased any hope of subtlety and compassion. Suspended in a modern-day version of limbo, the young man at the centre of Russell Banks's uncompromising and morally complex new novel must create a life for himself in the wake of incarceration. Known in his new identity only as the Kid, he is shackled to a GPS monitoring device and forbidden to go near where children might gather. He takes up residence under a south Florida causeway, in a makeshift encampment with other convicted sex offenders.

Barely beyond childhood himself, the Kid, despite his crime, is in many ways an innocent. Enter the Professor, a university sociologist of enormous size and intellect who finds in the Kid the perfect subject for his research. But when the Professor's past resurfaces and threatens to destroy his carefully constructed world, the balance in the two men's relationship shifts. Banks has long been one of our most acute and insightful novelists. Lost Memory of Skin is a masterful work of fiction that unfolds in language both powerful and beautifully lyrical.

Publisher: Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, c2011
ISBN: 9780307401731
Branch Call Number: FIC BAN
Characteristics: 416 p. ;,24 cm.


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FederalWayEdna Jun 19, 2015

I can't think of a better book to help understand the complexity of a young man's life after being convicted and released back into society branched as a sex offender. Where does he go? Where does he live? Who are his real friends? Is the professor who befriends him a real friend or does he have an ulterior motive or personal reason for imposing himself on the young man's situation? Excellent for book group discussion.

Starling16 Feb 25, 2015

Compelling and empathetic writing. Due to the heavy subject matter I was apprehensive about reading this book, but from the first line I was completely drawn in. It is very engaging. The only criticism I have is that the character of the Professor sometimes doesn't seem very believable or real to me. But The Kid, the environment he has to survive in, and his inner thought world are masterfully portrayed.

Jul 19, 2012

Russell Banks has given yet another compelling novel with thought out characters unlike any before who don't fit into any category; he also constructs a detailed setting. An engaging, yet disturbing story given the subject matter, which Mr. Banks is unafraid to breech (one can't help but wonder what his research process was) and I wasn't sure what to think about whom. Took me out of my comfort zone and, as is posed in the novel, left me asking what are my beliefs and how in turn do I make choices based on them.

Jun 25, 2012

Mixed feelings about this one. Banks does a great job of building empathy for the Kid, and the Professor is a well-drawn, interesting enigmatic character. But overall, the plot was lacking and I didn't feel that the story hung together all that well at the end.

Feb 20, 2012

A fine story of an offender--and victim--whose encounter with the eccentric Professor forces him to start making choices in how to live his life.

DesPlainesReaders Oct 31, 2011

Russell Banks has taken the most unsympathetic of characters - a sex offender- and woven a tale of how society ostracizes its criminals, and how these outcasts can find their way back to redemption. P.S. Is the internet the new snake that tempts us and gets us thrown out of the Garden of Eden? WeAreSpartacus/lascorpia

patienceandfortitude Oct 31, 2011

This novel is an excellent read and addresses many thought-provoking issues. Is our justice system truly just to those who are branded as sex offenders? What is the result of the easy accessibility of pornography in our culture -- particularly on the Internet? What does it say about our society that we are so liberal about sex in advertising, television, the internet, clothing, and music, yet at the same time we can be puritanical? The issues raised are very timely and the story is a page turner. Highly recommended.

debwalker Oct 27, 2011

Heard Banks being interviewed on CBC. This sounds fascinating.

Oct 23, 2011

Best book I have read in a long time.

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Oct 23, 2011

Maggie2356 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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