Book with a non-human narrator
January 24, 2011 10:12 AM   Subscribe

Name that book from very sketchy details. Published sometime around the year 2000; the twist at the end is that the protagonist is not human (more within).

The book may have been a debut novel. I seem to remember it was a travelogue or had a lot of travel in it. It was set somewhere wild, cold and with a lot of mountains by the sea, but in the UK, so it must have been Scotland or northern England. It was reasonably literary, though in a modish way. Not science fiction, horror or fantasy. But at the very end, you realise that the narrator is something inhuman.

It's been annoying the hell out of me for the last few days, so if someone can help, I'd be greatly obliged.
posted by rhymer to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A friend has just told me it was Under The Skin by Michael Faber. Not sure how good my description was, but I've ordered it off Amazon and it'll be interesting to see if I enjoy as much ten years down the line.
posted by rhymer at 10:49 AM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was just coming in to say that it sounded like Under the Skin.
posted by OmieWise at 10:52 AM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks. Are his subsequent books as good? Recommendations?
posted by rhymer at 10:57 AM on January 24, 2011

I've only read Under the Skin, and I actually didn't think it was that great. I thought too much depended on the big reveal. Sorry.
posted by OmieWise at 11:29 AM on January 24, 2011

I really enjoyed Under the Skin. I didn't think the reveal (which comes about half-way through? Less than that, even?) was the point of the book at all.

I also read The Crimson Petal and the White, and really enjoyed it. It's a much longer read than Under the Skin, however.
posted by Windigo at 12:23 PM on January 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I thought The Crimson Petal and the White was terrible. It is full of anachronisms, which pretty much ruins any historical novel for me. Also boring.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:44 PM on January 24, 2011

The ending of Crimson Petal and The White was INFURIATING. I actually threw the book across the room I was so angry. It is one of the only books I have ever done that with.
posted by bibliogrrl at 2:48 PM on January 24, 2011

Well, yeah, if you're looking for a strict-by-the-number historical novel, The Crimson Petal and the White might bother you. But if your knowledge is patchy to begin with, or you don't care all that much, it's just dandy. And I tend to like bothersome endings (Under the Skin has a bothersome ending as well, so that might be the author's MO).
posted by Windigo at 2:54 PM on January 24, 2011

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