Weekly Reader: COLD SKIN by Albert Sanchez Pinol

A few years ago Sarah Weinman thought she was going to have a career in science, possibly of the forensic variety. But then she launched the crime and mystery fiction blog Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind as a way of procrastinating on her master’s thesis, and it literally changed her life’s path. We can respect that. We also respect her opinions on books across all genres, so much so that we’ve asked Weinman to recommend a new one for you to check out each Wednesday. (It’s amazing that she finds the time. The woman read 462 books last year.) Learn more about her latest pick — the perfect book for your next trip — after the jump, and leave us your review in the comments if you’ve already read it.

COLD SKIN by Albert Sanchez Pinol
This is just about a perfect flight read: a lonely spot at the edge of Antarctica (therefore the edge of the world) a solitary young man traveling by ship to observe the weather for a single year, a mysterious, shaggy surly stranger living in a lighthouse with dire warnings about the outpost, and nightly attacks by something that’s hard to name but very, very scary. And yet, COLD SKIN inverts what ought to be straight pulpy horror into something more ruminative about what it means to be a human being, even as it refuses to sacrifice the velocity of a page-turner. Start with this and then move on to the more expansive, even more ambitious PANDORA IN THE CONGO.