Friday, January 11, 2008


A few comments about Skin by Ted Dekker.

First, back in December, I found a couple brand-new hardcover copies on the bargain table at a local bookstore, so I bought them both: one for me, one for my brother, a hardcore Dekker fan. When I asked my sister-in-law if he already had that book, she said no, but that once he opened that particular present he'd probably be useless to the rest of us during the remainder of their visit.

Second, I was the one who became useless. Once I opened the book and got past the first few pages (which seemed bland and over explanatory, but that's probably the editor in me showing), I almost couldn't put the book down. I read when I should have been sleeping. I read whenever my brother's family were off visiting other relatives. If I'd not been required at work--such an interruption to one's personal life--I would have finished the book in one day. As it was, it took me at least two, maybe three.

Dekker being famous for his plot twists, I just let the story run along for a bit, but there were disturbing little details that he tossed in that set the world a little more off-kilter than it already was, and I guessed the basic truth--and the killer--long before it was made known to the characters in the story. But a couple glitches at the end--almost total surprise. One was telegraphed throughout the story, but I had assumed its source was slightly different; close, but not quite, and thus the surprise. Still, that's kinda the point of reading mysteries and any other books involving puzzles: the reader wants to try to solve it, too, not just hang around until the characters do.

I like Skin, which is an elaborate, deceptive tangle of a thriller that ends up discussing the nature of beauty, evil, and the truth. Very cool.


Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to read that book, but I read a "teaser" in one of his other novels--the first of the first chapter--that, as you said, struck me as boring. So I wasn't even gonna pick it up. I love T.D., but it just didn't seem like his normal, riveting style. So, now I have to read the book, on your reccommendation!



About the editing thing: I believe reading other writers' work in its raw form--before being tweaked and polished, printed and bound--has helped me greatly with my own work. I hope (HOPE) to avoid some of those unfortunate things that might make readers turn away a great story. (Assuming, of course, that I'm actually writing a great story.)

Eaglewing said...

I hadn't heard of it before, but I think I remember seeing the cover at my local Chapters store. Sounds like something I'd enjoy - have to check it out now. And it's always nice to be surprised by a good twist in a mystery. With TV and movies anyway, I seem to be able to guess most of them these days.


Yeah, after reading or viewing so many stories that try hard to stump the audience, I guess I've become a little jaded, which is not a good thing, especially since I like the guessing game of a puzzling tale.