The Book of Human Skin Paperback
The book of human skin is a large volume with many pages of villainy writ upon it. There are people who are a disease, you know. 13 May, 1784, Venice: Minguillo Fasan, heir to the decaying, gothic Palazzo Espagnol, is born.
Yet Minguillo is no ordinary child: he is strange, devious and all those who come near him are fearful.
Twelve years later Minguillo is faced with an unexpected threat to his inheritance: a newborn sister, Marcella.
His untempered jealousy will condemn his sister to a series of fates as a cripple, a madwoman and a nun.
But in his insatiable quest to destroy her, he may have underestimated his sister's ferocious determination, and her unlikely allies who will go to extraordinary lengths to save her...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 512 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publication Date: 20/06/2011
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781408809648
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.
Review by drachenbraut23
Review by literarytiger
I really did enjoy this book of a classic tale of good over evil - although the evil really was evil without one shred of redemption. In that, it reminded me of Perfume, although this was slightly easier to read as there were those interwoven breaths of fresh air as the 'good' characters spoke.It is written as five different narratives, and I found myself flinching and wanting to get quickly through the narratives of Minguillo, the archly evil brother who was a text book psychopath, and the even more unpleasant character of the nun who was the most self-centred, deluded, self-aggrandizing excuse for a person I have ever encountered in a novel. She was truly vile. The first half of the book when evil seemed absolutely sure to prevail over anything good was difficult. I got somewhat frustrated at the resignation of many of the characters - minor and major - to Minguillo. I thought at least someone might have had a bit more backbone against him. But the second half of the book was easier as it became clearer that Lovric wouldn't leave us despairing of humanity and the ending was strangely satisfying.I did have an issue with the so-called uneducated spelling of Gianni. I understand he wasn't completely literate, but it was difficult to read and I don't think it was particularly necessary to write like that. But overall, it was an entertaining book which had been meticulously researched and written with creativity.
Review by StuartAston
The book follows Minguillo Fasan and his immediate family and staff as he tries to come to terms with his family not loving him. The fights he has to become instead respected as the future head of the family and how, by any means, he worked to take out anything and anyone who stood in his way.After killing one sister to be the main child he then turns his attention to his younger sister Marcella. How can he stop her from encroaching on his territory and what happens when his father leaves on his long trips - is there a secret there which could stop the domination of his family and society which he so greatly seeks?A good book to read you see how the world of Minguillo slowly cracks and disintegrates around him - while the rest of the world start to fight back. From the beginning the gruesomeness of the books he reads is a sub plot which you wonder how it is involved in the story. At the end it all comes together in a finale which is fitting for the storyline.
Review by Glorybe1
This book is wonderfully evil and excruciatingly funny at the same time! Set in Venice in the 1700's it follows the fortunes or ill fortunes of the Fasan family. Minguillo is so evil it is hard to stomach his twisted thoughts and obsessions. Marcella his sainted sister, who Minguillo lives to torture and destroy. It takes the reader through every disgusting scheme that Minguillo thinks up to get rid of his sister, yet at it's heart it is a love story too. It is full of peculiar and wonderful characters along the way. A brilliant book in a very macabre way. If you liked The Brothers Gossbert you will enjoy this too.
Review by pablosuau
The typical story about very evil people trying to make other people's life difficult, this time set in the 19th century. However, the way the story is told makes it engaging and the historical background is well developed.