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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Engleby – Wikipedia

It’s true that Mike Engleby has a mental illness, but that’s not why he’s an important character. If you are anything like me you will read the blurb and immediately have an expectation about what will happen but are hoping to be surprised. The product of a poverty-stricken, working-class background—beaten by his father and cruelly tormented by schoolmates—Engleby earns a place for himself at Cambridge during the early s where he lurks on the edges of social intercourse, spending most of his time faluks over a young woman he first notices in a tea room of the University Library.

Having grown up in these years myself, the detail with which Faulks decorated his narrative were both convincing and evocative of the time. She had a sharp patella that gave a fetching inverted-triangle shape to the knee.

Although well written this is not sebasyian easy read. This is one long characterization.

A past and present that don’t add up

At the same time he is gripped by nostalgia for a notional past of ‘authentic’ Englishness. He adds that he also may have murdered a German woman called Gudrun Abendroth in London and had attacked Baynes while at Chatfield, causing injuries, then thought to be accidental, which contributed to Baynes’ premature death some time later. Works by Sebastian Faulks. At least This was a very strange reading experience.


Too close for comfort. I’m so glad his ssebastian he half-read it first didn’t deter me from an investigation of my own. This is an intense and heavy read, but worth it in the long run. Novels, by their nature, are always going to be subjective.

Review: Engleby by Sebastian Faulks | Books | The Guardian

But that’s ok because we go on Mike’s journey with him, with sympathize with him, in fact we become him such is the strength of Faulks’ writing to the point where when the inevitable happens you’re sat there in shock. The great names for the roads and passages “tennis court road”; the pubs.

By the end, the entire thing feels more enfleby a literary exercise than a piece of entertainment, something forced on you sebastiah your will in a classroom environment to analyze for a grade, instead of something you voluntarily choose as a hard-working adult to read and enjoy.

I loved it but didn’t enjoy it. Probably sebastiqn to 3. The crouched ape unbends. When we, the readers, realise the extent to which we have been conned, it only serves to focus even more sharply on the characterisation this novel so aptly draws.

But there is no escapism in this book, just stark reality; life as it is for some. It is hard etched, grammatically and lexically precise, but it also convincingly recaptures the informality eebastian working class and student slang.

He begins as Engleby, and to Engleby he eventually returns, but as his confession for that is what it is unfolds, it emerges that he has passed his life since childhood answering to names other than his own, his sense of self blurred and fragmented by an accretion of alternative identities.


Before this, I’d only ever read Birdsong which was disturbing and sad on a whole other level. Sebastian Faulks was born inand grew up in Newbury, the son of a judge and a repertory actress.

And you are subsumed. View all 3 comments.

The wizard of odd

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, unlike most of the other books at CCLaP that were too awful to finish, Engleby stands accused of only one crime — of simply never telling an interesting-enough story for me to want to stick it through to the very end.

Mike meets a boy named Stevens to whom he takes an immediate dislike.

A lesser writer may have lost me. Engleby idolizes Jennifer throughout the novel. But you wait in vain for him to have a proper conversation. There is a lot of latitude in my 4- and 5-star ratings. Now, having finished it, from the rear view perspective, I can’t say I liked it, but there was a grudging sort of appreciation.

But what it does show that Faulks is an exemplary writer. Aug 22, Katerina rated it liked it Shelves: He begins to attend the society in order to meet her and attends her history lectures, in a different faculty, despite not studying it.