The Kid is all alone in the world, hiding in the shadows under the freeway, part of an ever-growing mass of exiles electronically shackled to a society that despises and shuns them.
But who are these modern-day lepers? And why are there so many of them? What if sex offending is symptom of a malfunctioning society, and these men are just the canaries in the coal mine, carrying the burden of society' shame? What if the Internet is the snake in the Garden of Eden, and pornography is the forbidden fruit?
In "Lost Memory of Skin," best-selling novelist Russell Banks explores the deeper ironies of a culture that condemns pedophiles even while turning its children into dehumanized sexual commodities. But on a deeper level, the novel is about the profound loneliness and alienation of the digital age, the inability of people to get beyond false facades to truly trust and connect with each other.
To the Kid, no one is real. They are all two-dimensional characters in a play. The Professor, a sociologist who takes a mysterious interest in him. The other trolls under the bridge, who regard each other with wary suspicion. Even his own inadequate mother, who abandoned him when he was arrested trying to hook up with a 14-yearold girl he met in a chat room after years of solitary Internet stimulation.
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