Read: The Book of Human Skin


This book is basically as grim as it sounds. I like to think I’m not particularly squeamish but there were parts in The Book of Human Skin where I literally had to put it down and take a deep breath before I could carry on reading. But this all just added to the drama of the story: it was morbidly fascinating, deeply researched and thought out to every sadistic detail. It wasn’t just violence for violence sake, it was all necessary to the narrative and the formulation of the characters. The story has 5 narrators whose lives are all interlinked in 18th century Venice, with one of the protagonists Minguillo Fasan, being the most despicable character I’ve ever read. I almost felt guilty enjoying the book as his acts are so perverse, you genuinely wish for him to reach a gruesome end (I won’t tell you if he does or not obviously!). The tale takes so many twists and turns, I was left wincing through most of it – just when I thought the characters would get a break it just carried on relentlessly. It was emotionally draining but worth the effort. As Minugillo frequently says, ‘This could get a little uncomfortable.’


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