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Mysterious Skin Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Celestial Arts; Abridged edition (Sept. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574530097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574530094
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Product Description

About the Author

The author of two novels and a volume of poetry, Scott Heim has written for numerous publications, including The Advocate, Village Voice, and Nerve.com. He lives in Boston.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Superficially a coming of age tale with a twist, Mysterious Skin tracks a decade in the life of two teenage boys in small town America, following them from their school yard days through early teens and adolescence until they eventually become the adults their childhood selves must concede to.
The innocence of Brian Lackey - one of the book's two main characters - is sharply contrasted by the knowing cynicism of his superficially unlikely ally, Neil McCormick. Neil is as sinister as Brian is guileless, but the shared childhood experience that links the two boys moves beyond the boundaries of a straightforward struggle between the "good" character and the one the reader initially assumes to be the "bad."
The story is told in the first person narrative shared between both characters, and the regular flits between the two distinct personalities gives context, texture and further depth to the levels of emotion in which the reader is gently immersed. Heim leaves no stone unturned when exploring the influences that affect the young adult: poverty, neglect, family ritual and marital breakdown are all woven into the story, but it is the powerful coping mechanisms that even a child can find within himself when flirting with the thrill of the forbidden that is the most fascinating aspect of the story. Mysterious Skin is as much a story about loss of innocence as it is about the power of young sexuality, and rarely is the inevitable link between the two so skillfully managed.
Heim maintains a style, pace and rhythm that is seamlessly graceful throughout the book even during the most harrowing scenes.
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Format: Paperback
Daring, controversial, intelligent, beautiful, emotional, these are just a few of the words to describe this masterpiece. From the beginning it has you gripping the next page, wondering were the characters path in life will next take its turn. There are also points in the book that arguably could be edited, although the fact that they remain, makes this book seem even more of a work of art. Its rawness and beauty make it original and well worth a read. I hope to be reading more books from this amazing author in the near future.
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Format: Paperback
Scott Heim is an author with so much to say, and he presents his story with such passion and detail that you would almost think his fictional characters illustrated in Mysterious Skin, are flesh and blood individuals like you and I. But isn't that the secret idealogy of fiction? To make the reader feel like they are experiencing a real and believable world? You decide.
Mysterious Skin is an original and imaginative representation of the effects of child abuse, and although the author is graphic in his writing, his style offers a very unique way of bringing ordinary characters to an exciting new level.
The story concerns two male characters and their journey to discover a truth about their past and who they really are, but I don't want to reveal too much as I may spoil it for new eyes.
After finishing the book I realised how much emotion I had felt for these two characters, and yes I admit it, it was a heartbreaking yet satisfying read. I urge anyone to read this book, even if books aren't really your thing, you should consider this an exception!!!! Hey who knows, it may change your life.
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Format: Paperback
This is a book of wonder in a harshly unwonderful universe. The final paragraph, a stunning concession to the world of descriptive fiction that belies the supposed heroic beauty of mankind is worth the cover price on its own. Highly recommended
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Scott Heim portrays slowly recovering memory of trauma by fracturing it among the different characters, particularly the geek and the streetwise kid who later becomes a rent boy who said, `Hollywood would never make a movie about us.' - which of course, they did. His parents return home at 3am and his mother saves cocktail umbrellas. One psychotherapist has suggested that the way the story unfolds is fairly typical of how people deal with traumatic memories, though our own psychotherapist member argues that every one is different in the way that they process information and family secrets.

The subject matter is such that many people would find this book harrowing but I found it, if not `entertaining' absorbing. I did, however, find some Americanisms annoying, e.g. `crawl space' and `to touch it (Neil's hair) would be like touching corduroy'

One of our members read the whole book in one sitting because it was so engaging, another said that it was `beautiful and well-crafted.' One member pointed out that the `moral landscape' of this book mirrors the flat physical landscape of Kansas, where the story is set.

I shall never see folk who believe in UFOs or in devils in quite the same way again. What awful experience have they undergone that makes them believe so irrationally? Is abduction by aliens, one member asked, really to do with the abduction of memories?

The author avoids a `victims' and `monsters' scenario: the paedophile coach is portrayed as an immature adult and there is a telling juxtaposition, at the end, as the innocence of the Christmas carol `Silent night.......holy infant tender and mild' sung outside contrasts with the recollection of innocence violated and stolen inside. One of the children was not completely innocent: `Half of me knew if wasn't right, the other half wanted it to happen.'
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