Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the first book I've read by Banks, although I've heard some of his others are better. I decided to go ahead and read this first since it was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2012.
This is the story of "Kid," who is a 21 year old military reject, virgin, and convicted sex offender who ends up living in a community of sex offenders under a causeway in southern Florida because of all the restrictions of where convicted sex offenders can live. He is befriended by a sociology professor who studies the homeless.
Kid has issues because of his upbringing, including a severe porn addiction, and seems to only deal well with animals (he has a huge iguana named Izzy at the beginning). The professor's story is revealed throughout the novel.
There isn't anything in here that I can pinpoint as being great, although I was engaged in the story the whole time. Karen Russell definitely writes this landscape better than Banks (although to be fair, his focus was on the characters), and the twists at the end seemed too little too late to really be fleshed out. I ended up wanting more of the Professor, although I don't think I could stand any more discussions on his eating habits.