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Engleby Paperback – 7 Jul 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson; New edition edition (7 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091795710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091795719
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 750,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sebastian Faulks was born in April 1953. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1991, he worked as a journalist. His French trilogy - The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) - established him in the front rank of British novelists. UK sales of Birdsong exceed 2,500,000 copies, and for this novel he was named "Author of the Year" by the British Book Awards in 1995. It is regularly voted one of the nation's favourite books. Charlotte Gray has also sold over a million copies and was filmed with Cate Blanchett in the main part.

Product Description

Review

" One of the most impressive novelists of his generation." - "Sunday Telegraph" " The best novelist of his generation." - "Scotsman" " Faulks is beyond doubt a master." - "Financial Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Sebastian Faulks's new novel is a bolt from the blue, unlike anything he has written before: contemporary, demotic, heart-wrenching - and funny, in the deepest shade of black. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roger Risborough on 30 Nov. 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is specifically a review of the audio-book, which is read by Michael Moloney. I'm not normally a fan of MM's portrayals, but here, his performance and his character are brilliant. He completely captures the tone and timing of Mike Engleby, and the orbiting cast - in fact I found his Engleby haunting to the point of him popping up in my dreams. The sense of creeping tension that builds from page one is tangible, compelling and disturbing. Slowly, the jigsaw pieces of Engleby's life are pushed into place - from being bullied at school for saying "Toilet" to ending up in the natural resting place for those of diminished responsibilty (Fleet Street). When Mike's mental state is analysed towards the end, I felt so shaken by the strength of the characterisation that I started to identify some of Engleby's 'symptoms' in myself! When Engleby's physical appearance is revealed (deliberately as late as possible), that is also a shock that shakes your pre-conceptions. The one-star reviewers who all say "I worked out what happens straightaway" have missed the point - Engleby is not a whodunnit, or a thriller; it's a searing sketch of someone who might be sitting next to us in the pub . . . . . or looking at us in the mirror.
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233 of 246 people found the following review helpful By Bethany Williams on 20 May 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is phenomenal; it has shot into my top ten books of all time. It takes a lot to make it into this esteemed list and Faulks has certainly delivered a lot here. He is truly a master and this change from his usual style is brilliant. He has moved away from the historical novel to a relatively contemporary setting. The story touches on the themes of education, class, politics, and psychosis. The narrator is Engleby, an undergraduate at Cambridge in the 70's. He is a strange character, a loner and outsider, very much on the fringes of life. He is not particularly pleasant but he is engaging, intelligent and funny. However, there is always something missing from his accounts of his life and the reader can never be sure if they are missing some details. Most of the book takes place inside his mind and since he has `selective memory' he is always one step ahead of the reader. This isn't a book in which a great deal happens but the beauty is in the subtlety.

Faulks' writing style is very lucid and he uses language sparingly; with his books you get none of the 'misty' effect I've noticed in many new books lately where the actual story seems to be lost underneath a mass of unnecessary verbosity. He is perceptive and insightful with a dry sense of humour. His ruminations on the pointlessness of studying English are very, very funny. Faulks is not afraid to offend and that is a refreshing quality in this day and age.

I read this book very quickly as I found myself literally unable to put it down. If you are a Faulks fan this is a must read for you. If you are new to him, Engleby is a great introduction (although don't expect his other works to be similar - they're not.) Every time I open a book I hope that this will be the one that gets me really inspired and keeps me up all night reading; this was the one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S.M. Gidley on 13 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
It's a real relief when a novelist is brave enough to present readers with a character who isn't begging to be liked and Faulks has done that with Engleby; in fact he's done much more.

As you make your way through this novel Mike Engleby changes not only the name by which he is known but seemingly also his character. As he reveals parts of his life you can't help feeling more and more sympathy for him as he appears to gain more depth. However, all this leaves you stranded at the novel's denouement which, as other reviewers point out, you can see coming from quite a long way off. Finally you get to see him as others in the novel do and you feel foolish for having fallen for his slight charm and resourcefulness.

Although spanning several decades, Engleby's reach is actaully quite short with all personnel and events seemingly drawn irresistably into Mike's troubled mind.

This is a clever, quite disturbing, tidy novel that is devastatingly unsentimental.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Miss Paperback Rider on 13 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
By the end of this book, I found myself questioning whether any of Engleby's life story was true, or whether his memoirs were made up entirely of a combination of warped recollections, bendings of the truth and outright lies.

A great story; you'll find yourself playing out alternative explanations for hours!
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By L. H. Healy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
A convincing portrayal of a loner, a troubled character, Mike Engleby, this is a gripping read that draws you back until it is finished. I was intrigued how this would progress and how his life would play out after the occurences we hear about from his school and college years. The novel tells Engleby's story as seen through his eyes, and it is up to the reader to believe what they will to an extent. Faulks cleverly evokes some degree of sympathy in the reader for Engleby and the lonely world he inhabits, yet we are fearful and chilled by some of his actions and reactions to people and events as the novel progresses. It was interesting to read a novel in which mental illness is dealt with, and compelling, though at times painful, to be inside Engleby's head. Though it doesn't make for an easy read, I really enjoyed this novel, and am glad I picked it up. The period detail of the times he lives through is a thorough and well written backdrop to the events that Engleby recites. I thought the occasional comments that are slipped in about the changes in education over the time period that the novel spans, 70's through to present day, were quite telling.
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