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Michel Faber’s scary new sci-fi novel is a great, mature performance

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Under the Skin Summary & Study Guide Description

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Create a commenting name to join the debate Submit. Please try again, the name must be unique Only letters and numbers accepted. Loading comments Please try again, the name must be unique. Her scant dialogue seems to suggest as much. But then of course we see her motivations are far more sinister. And yet, just as Faber before him, Glazer juxtaposes the Female's predatory actions with displays of childlike wonder and a desire to understand herself.

This dichotomy is perhaps best represented in the second scene, in which the Female strips her predecessor—a cold, sterile setting, an act without tenderness despite the tear that streams down the woman's face, suggesting she may not be dead, but merely paralyzed. The scene ends with the Female finding a small black ant. She lets it crawl along her fingers as she examines it with that childlike wonder seen in Faber's novel. When not out hunting, the Female absorbs the world with a look of innocent awe on her face that speaks louder than words or voice-over narration ever could.

Kelly Dowhower | | Blog : Book Review: Under The Skin

Her entire character arc—just like Isserley before her—centers around a battle between this admiration for Earth and her duties as a predator. In this way, I would argue that Glazer's film is a perfect adaptation.

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Though wildly different from its source material in places, his version of Under The Skin manages to grasp the essence of Faber's novel while at the same time standing out as its own, separate entity. This gives film viewers a strong impetus to pick up the book, and readers a similar but altogether new viewing experience to enjoy.

Each is a perfect example of its respective medium, co-existing and co-mingling with each other. What are your thoughts on Under The Skin , either the film, the book, or both? Did you enjoy one more than the other, or, like me, do you admire them simultaneously? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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I compeltely forgot about the opening shot of space. Thinking about it later, I wasn't sure they'd ever established she was an alien.

It would have worked as well or better if they hadn't specified, left open the possibility of some sort of Lovecraftian thing that had been here all along. I haven't read the book yet.


I didn't realize it was a book until I found this article. The movie was beautiful. She was such a perfect monster until the end. And I wasn't expecting to be so moved for her. I'll watch it again after I read the book.

Book vs. Film: 'Under The Skin'

I can't imagine the work it takes to maneuver and manipulate the reader the same way the director and the actors manipulate the viewer. I loved both of them despite their differences. I just finished reading the book, very effective and compelling, the way it draws one in. I already had the impression that she was supposed to be an alien, but the book sure took its time getting around to that.

Truthfully, I wouldn't have minded a bit more about the aliens and their planet--for example, why didn't they just conquer Earth? Perhaps they aren't aggressive like us? Insufficient resources?