Shadows. It’s a rare novelist who can hold up a mirror to readers about modern life by using unsympathetic characters to provide insight into human nature from the behavior of outcasts. The shadows and dark corners of society and personality are explored by Russell Banks in his new novel, Lost Memory of Skin. A protagonist whose only name is The Kid, finds himself in his early twenties as a convicted sex offender, a virgin, and living underneath a Florida causeway, the only place far enough away from children to meet the terms of his probation. Another nameless character, The Professor, is also an outcast. Banks uses both characters to lead readers to think about people around us, and ourselves, in new ways.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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