Mysterious Skin

Institute History


MYSTERIOUS SKIN begins when Brian Lackey, a shy and withdrawn Little Leaguer in central Kansas, wakes bleeding in the basement of his house, having endured something so traumatic that he cannot remember an entire five-hour period of time. During the following years, he slowly recalls details from that night, but these fragments are not enough to explain what happened to him. As a teenager, he befriends Avalyn Friesen, a woman featured on a television program about UFO's and alien abductions. Because her experience with "missing time" seems to mirror his own, Brian begins to believe that he may have been the victim of an alien encounter.

As Brian matures, he gradually finds his life merging with another group of outcast teenagers. Central among this group is Neil McCormick, a beautiful, dangerously sexual, and fierce terrorist of a boy with no father and an immature, alcoholic mother. Neil, as Brian discovers, happened to be on that same Little League team, that same summer. In contrast to Brian, Neil feels himself to be fully aware of the events from that period. As the boys' lives intersect, Neil is forced to question the reliability of memory and the nature of desire. His idealized memories change when Brian comes to him for help and, ultimately, the truth.


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