Published: 07-11-2013
Format: EPUB eBook
Edition: 1st
Extent: 208
ISBN: 9781408844168
Imprint: Bloomsbury Paperbacks
RRP: £7.99

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‘Tobias Hill writes the kind of fiction that can change the way you look at the world’

The Observer


In an isolated trailer home in the far north of Japan, an old criminal scrutinizes his tattooed skin while he waits for the past to catch up with him. A year later, the life of a young policeman breaks down as he investigates a tattooed corpse and the history of death and guilt embedded in its skin.

From the Japanese underworld to midnight in the London Zoo aquarium, Skin charts the lives of people in a world made stark and fantastical. The grief of a young computer programmer who cannot erase the ghostly memory of his twins. The vicious logic of the games played by children while their parents sip drinks under parasols. And London Zoo, where the disappearance of dead animals is blamed on the Featherman, an eerie bodysnatcher who passes through London’s wastelands and derelict spaces, leaving no trace except for the feathers of green hummingbirds.


‘He got out of jail and headed for Hokkaido where the sky is wide. From the bullet train he watched the stone pickers bent double in the winter fields, a piano factory in a town of zinc roofs, a colt learning to run to the sound of wheels. In the seat beside him, a young office girl ate raw liver from a polystyrene dish printed with gold leaves.

There was money waiting for him and he bought land and set his land in order. He lived in a trailer home on the sour earth of old factory ground. When it rained he stood outside and let it fall against his upturned face. In prison, he had thrust his hands through the window’s grille, catching the rain’s cold movement on the tips of his fingers.’