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This is a brilliant book: disturbing, amusing, thought-provoking, playful, real, unreal. All the usual Faulks intelligence and enjoyment of language is here.
Yet Engleby is different from his other books. This time, you get the feeling Faulks has let you into his own life: school, university, Notting Hill, journalism (the interviews with Jeffrey Archer and Ken Livingstone just can’t have been made up).
There is a catharsis here – and, despite the disturbances in Mike Engleby’s brain, you can feel Faulks really enjoying his writing, making this book perhaps more approachable than some of his other subjects.
It is an absolute travesty that Sebastian Faulks has never won a major British Book Award, especially as Birdsong is generally recognised as one of the greatest novels in contemporary fiction. Hopefully, Mike Engleby will do it for him (he doesn’t do much for anyone else).
Time is one of the themes running through Engleby. Make sure you take time to read it.
Mike Engleby says things that others dare not even think.
When the novel opens in the 1970’s, he is a university student, having survived a ‘traditional’ school. A man devoid of scruple or self-pity, Engleby provides a disarmingly frank account of English education.
In the course of his subsequent career, which brings us up to the present day, he and the reader encounter many famous people - actors, writers, politicians, household names - but the most memorable is Engleby himself.
For beneath the disturbing surface of his observations, lies an unfolding mystery of gripping power. When one of his contemporaries unaccountably disappears, the reader has to ask: is even the unembarrassable Engleby capable of telling the whole truth?
Engleby can be read as a lament for a generation and the country it failed. It is also a poignant account of the frailty of human consciousness.
'Faulks is beyond doubt a master' - Financial Times
'The best novelist of his generation' - Allan Massie, Scotsman
Publication date: 27/03/2008
Publisher: Vintage an imprint of CCV
Publication date: 03/05/2007
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd
|Publication date:||3rd May 2007|
|Publisher:||Arrow Books Ltd|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,|
Sebastian Faulks was born and brought up in Newbury, Berkshire. He worked in journalism before starting to write books. He is best known for the French trilogy, The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) and is also the author of a triple biography, The Fatal Englishman (1996); a small book of literary parodies, Pistache (2006); and the novels Human Traces (2005) and Engleby (2007). He lives in London with his wife and their three children. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1993 and appointed CBE for services to literature in 2002. He lives in London with ...More About Sebastian Faulks