Monday, January 9, 2012

Lost Memory of Skin

I read Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks on my Kindle last month.  I thought that the premise of it sounded interesting.  The story deals with sexual abusers and homelessness. 

I was somewhat disappointed in the whole book, although parts of it were interesting.  The whole sadness of homelessness and how people end up in that situation is thought-provoking.  In this book, the  Kid (as he is called through-out the book) is a convicted sex offender who lives in what I would consider a colony of sorts under a causeway in south Florida.  The colony of people who live there are all convicted sex offenders, who cannot find anywhere else to live, due to the restrictions of not being able to live near children, schools, etc.  The Kid is a young man, just out of his teens, who had a sexual relationship with an underage girl.  That seemed, to me, to rather set him apart from the others that he lived with.  He seemed to be more a victim of circumstances.

The police raid the camp/colony and the Kid ends up meeting the Professor, an extremely obese college professor who claims to be doing research on homelessness and sex offenders. The relationship between the Kid and the Professor is interesting and as the Kid learns more about the Professor, the Kid has to deal with those issues.

 I found the book to become weaker and weaker as the story went on.  Parts of it were interesting, probably only due to my own past experiences working with clients.  The story does raise the issue of how to house sex offenders in society after they have completed their prison time. But it doesn't take a whole book to address that issue.

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