Boyz II Men

My Fellow Skin

By

Harvill Press 200pp £9.99 (Trans Ina Rilke) order from our bookshop

MY FELLOW SKIN is one of those rare books that you wish were longer than they are, not just a little bit, but double the length, no, three times as long. That said, part of its charm lies in its tantalising brevity; there is just enough to make you hunger for more. On the surface, the coming – of – age story told in the Dutch writer Erwin Mortier’s second novel is simple enough. In three short sections, we see the narrator, Anton Callewin, as a small child, when, as he puts it, ‘the things that scared me were not yet inside me, but around me’; around the age of eleven, when he moves to a new school and his whole inner world starts shifting; and as an eighteen-year-old, on the brink of life but thrown off course by an unexpected event.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Englishmen Abroad in the Reign of Henry VIII'. Free lecture by Dr Susan Brigden, Thurs 18 Oct, 6.30pm Europe Hou… ,
    • It 'contains twists and near misses and bit-part players, everything you might expect from a true-crime story'. Ian… ,
    • Oh normally a week or two before the ceremony itself - so mid-November. ,
    • Ian Sansom reviews The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by… ,
    • 'It is hard to think of an economist who could craft such an elegantly readable account of postwar failure as this.… ,
    • Frederick Forsyth reviews The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by ,
    • . reviews What We Have Lost: The Dismantling of Great Britain by James Hamilton-Paterson ,