Saturday, October 27, 2012
In Lost Memory of Skin the Kid isn't like 'the Kid' in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Rather the Kid of Russell Banks is closer to Gene Harrogate in Cormac McCarthy's Suttree, a renegade in all the sense of perversion and isolation. It is like taking Gene Harrogate out of Suttree and creating a new life for him in Lost Memory of Skin in modern time.
The main attractions in "Skin" are the Kid and the Professor. The Kid, though anti-social and masturbation-addicted, is as vividly interesting a character as the Professor who is profiled as a T-rex-forever-hungry human being, at times seen as larger-than-life, massive-brooding-persuasive-brilliant for his own good. All the characters who pop up here and there live and breathe like real people. And all of them, including the Kid and the Professor, live a moralless life. It's an everyone-for-himself kind of life.
Albeit the overuse of research materials to validate and authenticate the storyline and its setting around and under a south Florida causeway, "Skin" is a modern literary tour de force.