Saturday, 12 March 2011
In The Skin - Gary McMahon
In The Skin is a short novella that is absolutely jam-packed with some of the bleakest writing you will ever find.
And I mean that in a good way.
Our protagonist, Dan, is feeling a little dislocated from his life. At first I thought I had spotted the reason for this, but it turned out I was way off.
When Dan goes to New York for a business trip, ostensibly just to get away from his wife, things start to get weird for him.
A lingering smell of fish at the airport along with an horrific vision sets the tone.
As Dan's sense of dislocation continues he has a thoroughly unerotic encounter with a prostitute and meandering visit to New York.
But it is when he gets home that the dread and wrongness fill his life.
McMahon has written a dark and disturbing fiction here, the word that most sums it up for me is Bleak.
There are no chinks of light, no snatches of hoope to be found. And yet the writing is compelling, his prose full of the delightfully uncomfortable metaphors that he excels at.
In short, this is not and easy or uplifting read - but it is a straight shot of disturbing horror.
And at 70p/99 cents for the eBook - you can't really go wrong.
A solid recommendation.
Buy it from amazon uk here and amazon.com here