Thursday, 21 November 2013

'The Book of Human Skin', MIchelle Lovric

( Not to be google-fused with other similarly named texts.....)

"Vile and contemptible is the book that everyone likes." M.Lovric.

And so it begins:  "This is going to be a little uncomfortable".   

One hundred and thirty-seven pages in and it is screwing up my real life.  Darn that hideous, hazy state when life drags you from a disturbing read and places you in the company of others feeling disconnected and tongue tied.

This book might actually be rendering me speechless.

I must finish reading it so that I might, once again, function in life like a normal  (relatively), fully engaged (partially) human being.

Uncomfortable it certainly is.

I am also thinking not the best genre for a book club on the lead up to Christmas. Sigh. 

And am also really thinking I must get it read and resolved before I go to see my son in 'Miracle on 34th Street' next week........not convinced I want vile and contemptible swirling in my head alongside sugar, spice and all things nice.


[Head held in moderate public shame]:  

OOOPS.  I'm such a sucker for some fancy promises.

[The frustrated attempt to save face]:

Apologies for my earlier excitement in response to the first one-hundred and thirty-seven pages of sinister undercurrents and tension.....I've been had. 

Promises. Promises. Promises.

My relationship with The Book of Human Skin did not pan out. 

Sadly, the tension plateaued and the heady haze of anticipation was met with resounding disappointment...

... not altogether dissimilar to a particularly memorable string of dates I had with a wood carver from Melbourne in my twenties.  Ahhhh. So much promise and potential climaxing to a distinctive and conclusive stalemate when I became the recipient of ( I shudder in the memory)  Sworovski Cut Crystal Animal Figurines.  [My mum liked them.]

Don't be suckered in by the authorial promises too with an open mind and enjoy the build up.  

To make an unfair comparison, if Patrick Suskind's 'Perfume: The Story of a Murderer' could be a diamond, then Lovric's 'The Book of Human Skin' is distinctively Swarovski Cut Crystal. 

In the future, no more blogging before sealing the deal with a complete read...


1784, Venice. Miniguillo Fasan claws his way out of his mother’s womb. The magnificent Palazzo Espagnol, built on New World drugs and silver, has an heir. Twelve years later Minguillo uncovers a threat to his inheritance: a sister. His jealousy will condemn her to a series of fates as a cripple, a madwoman and a nun. But she is not alone - aided by an irascible portrait-painter, a doctor obsessed with skin, and a cigar-smoking nun - Marcella pits her own fierce heart against Minguillo