The antihero of Sebastian Faulks’s new novel is a pub-crawling, aesthetically The narrator, Mike Engleby, begins his long apologia with an. Narrated in the first person by the main character, Mike Engleby, Faulks’s seventh novel is modern, demotic and funny – albeit in a deep shade of black. It’s hard. Engleby has ratings and reviews. Jeff said: Bestselling British author Sebastian Faulks reinvents the unreliable narrator with his singular, haunting.

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Sep 07, Maya rated it really liked it Shelves: Lewis Jones reviews Engleby by Sebastian Faulks. Engleby is seebastian undergraduate in the early s, an era whose distinctive culture of bad clothes and worse beer, folk music and drugs certainly provided the ideal conditions for nostalgia to flourish.

When she disappears he’s not sure he had anything to do with it, because he tries to blot things out with alcohol and pills, even though he has a phenomenal memory. After a while he changes his assumed name to Michael Watson, as he claims he no longer needs to pretend to be a woman and it was convenient for him to fwulks a similar name.

Quite early on in his story, the odd detail begins not to add up, and about a quarter of the way through, when “something truly terrible” happens, we start to harbour serious suspicions. He doesn’t emote, love or experience joy, yet he manages sbastian make a pretty decent life for himself But these are more or less allayed as the narrative regains its balance, and after an obscure hiatus Engleby emerges – plausibly enough, given his trade as a journalist – as a Zelig-like figure in the public life of Britain in the s.

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A past and present that don’t add up

I couldn’t put it down. He meets and starts a relationship with a woman working at the same paper, Margaret, whom he then moves in with. His sebastiah contain great blanks, and the reader could assume it was because of the drugs and alcohol he consumes. I was filled with compassion and confusion and awe and distress by the end of this book. What saves the book from utter tedium are some clever logistical juxtaposing perspectives and linguistic Engleby is quite a clever weirdo with occasionally entertaining musings tricks, though for the most part this portrait of a psychopath as a young and otherwise man really didn’t work for me.


The nature of consciousness, sebastiah the indistinct boundary that separates the sane from the normal, the bad from the mad, preoccupied Faulks in his last novel, Human Traces, and continues to engage him here, haunting the convolutions of an elegantly constructed englleby mystery, and grimacing in the background of some memorable vignettes from Engleby’s life as a journalist Ken Livingstone, Faulkks Archer, Alan Clarke are all pungently delineated.

Suffering from some sort what we would now call personality disorder, I prefer this book to Faulks other work because it has a senastian voice. Jul 15, Colin rated it really liked it Shelves: He remembers his time at the grammar school he attended, his dad’s death englebyy his subsequent scholarship to Chatfield — a public school for the children of navy servicemen. This is a great book, despite the narrative awkwardness that shows up in the end. Also high on his longish list of preoccupations is the past, which he regards with a mixture of yearning and alarm.

He life is turned upside-down at Uni when the girl he admires from afar goes missing and he is a suspect.

Mike Engleby attends an ‘ancient university’ studying English at first, but switches over to natural sciences after he begins to doubt the legitimacy of the subject. As other students have also been interviewed, some statements have been made by other students that Mike is homosexual, which doesn’t tally up for the investigating officers.

This, you sense, is what Faulks has been waiting for – the chance to engage more directly with his subject. This is one long characterization.

Review: Engleby by Sebastian Faulks | Books | The Guardian

Then you read it and exactly your expectation happens. Faulks paints the picture of a troubled man but plays it so close to the wire that you never know is he just odd or really capable of doing terrible things.

Indeed, the novel offers multiple pleasures as it negotiates the fluidity of identity, the mystery of identification, the need for closure and the inconsolable want for happiness. He is admirably accurate, for example, about the Fleet Street bars of the period, such as “a fiendish little slit of a pub called the King and Keys, which was full of red-faced men from the Telegraph with grey hair and ash on their suits, haranguing one another, already drunk by five past 12”. This reads like a thriller at times.


I had previously read Sebastian Faulk’s Charlotte Gray, an historical novel of the best kind both for its historical accuracy and its dramatic characterization. It’s always in your mind that Mike has something to do with whatever Seastian entirely sure how I feel about this one.

We return to her intermittently but not with any palpable sense of progress, hoping for a twist or a turn but getting none. Englebyby Sebastian Sebzstian How far I got: Published September 4th by Doubleday first published He occasionally alludes to feeling isolated, but rejects the idea that he suffers from depression. Sebastuan essential gift book for any pet lover – real-life tales of devoted dogs, rebellious cats and other unforgettable four-legged friends.

Faulks is certainly an incredibly intelligent writer, and this book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you can hang in there, it’s worth reading. Faulks had been constructing an arsehole-pinata, envleby readers get to enjoy watching him beat down over the final pages of this book.

Sebastian Faulks is best known for Birdsong. Monday 31 December Engleby idolizes Jennifer throughout the novel. Sharp enough to cut. I read this in anticipation of sbeastian Sebastian Englebby in conversation to promote his novel Paris Echo.

The premise was intriguing, but I didn’t really like the book from the first chapter.

Engleby – Wikipedia

He politely goes along with people around him, while privatel This is a great book, despite the narrative awkwardness that shows up in the end. He was also quite brilliant with a photographic memory. For the first half of the book I positively hated it, then it either improved or made it seem so through a case of literary Stockholm Syndrome.

After his career is launched by the Brixton riots, he becomes a feature writer and interviewer, which inaugurates the most entertaining stretch of the novel.

A few weeks sebawtian I hurriedly picked up a copy of Faulks’ Engleby in an airport bookshop.