Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks

I just finished this book. It is awesome. It is about a young registered sex offender in Florida who due to the Florida residency laws can live in only one place in his county, underneath a causeway. He wears a gps ankle bracelet that lets his parole officer know instantly if he strays into a forbidden zone.

Also, thanks to an internet based sex offender registry, given his name anybody can get on the internet and find out his histroy. So for 10 years he is doomed to homelessness and despair and he never actually assaulted anyone. He was lured into what he thought was a liaison with a 14 year old but the girl’s father met him at the door. Lucky for the daughter.

The whole thing about sex offenders’ residency laws has intrigued me. Sex offenders don’t have any advocates so they are free game for any politician looking for a few cheap votes to make it harder to find a place to live. It has gotten to the point where some of the offenders have stopped registering their addresses and go underground which makes it harder to authorities to monitor them.

This book about more than sex offenders though. It is about the difference between shame and guilt, and the nature of belief and reality which is fancy way of asking how do we really know the truth about things. It is also about community and how we deal with outcasts.

The book is also about growing up without parents who care. Take my advice, care about what your kids and grand-kids are looking at online. It matters.

The book is extremely well written and kept me going to the end. I rate it four stars out of five.

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More Information – Infographic on Sexual Predators

Who Are The Sexual Predators
Via: MedicalBillingAndCoding.org

8 thoughts on “Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks

  1. Denise

    Sounds like a very interesting book but I’m not sure I would put it on my reading list. I do agree wholeheartedly with you said about monitoring what our children and grandchildren are watching online. They also need to know why we do this.

  2. Impulsive Addict

    I’m with Bonnie. They creep me out. Did you ever watch Chris Hanson on To Catch A Predetor? It’s a dateline thing. Anyway, that show freaked me out. Dirty bastards.

    So I’m kinda shocked you read this book. Did someone recommend it?

  3. Leedslass

    I’m surprised that Impulsive Adict is shocked at your reading this. My immediate reaction was I must read and learn more about something I know very little. Not from a voyeuristic point of view but because of your comment that parents and grandparents should read and learn and be aware.

    Perhaps, once again, I’ve put the cat among the pigeons?

  4. GW Bill Miller

    I guess it stands to reason that if you are interested in a book about sex offenders you must be some kind of pervert yourself. I think you know that I am part of a prison ministry called Kairos. We get acquainted with all sorts of social outcasts; murderers, rapists, burglars, drug dealers, you name it. The saddest of all are the sex offenders. They are the bottom rung of the prison totem pole. If it is tough being a sex offender on the street, it is a hell of a lot tougher inside a prison. The thing is, that if you are accused of being a sex offender you are guilty until proven innocent, and it is tough to prove that you didn’t do something.

  5. Yogi♪♪♪

    Sorry if I offended anybody by just reading the book. The book doesn’t advocate for sexual offenders. It has a number of themes but one of them is consequences. Obviously for the offender, but also for society. We have created a vast underclass of people who are social pariahs. They can’t find a place to live, they can’t find work.

  6. Martha Z

    I understand your point. Perhaps because I listen to NPR I realize that not all of those listed as sexual offenders are sexual predators. Some are teens, guilty of having sex with their girl friend. The law is often not good at distinguishing who is a threat to society and who is not. Above all, we should remember “as you do unto the least of these, you do unto me”.
    I don’t condone the abuse, sexual or otherwise, of any living creature, human or otherwise, but that includes offenders.

  7. Denise

    Back again to comment on this post. I am not offended by you reading this book Yogi, far from it. Knowledge is one of the best defenses. The statistics you added were very interesting.

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