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Engleby by [Faulks, Sebastian]
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Engleby Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 246 customer reviews

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Product Description


"One of the most impressive novelists of his generation."
-"Sunday Telegraph"
"The best novelist of his generation."
"Faulks is beyond doubt a master."
-"Financial Times"

"From the Hardcover edition."

"Compulsively readable yet deeply disturbing. . . . To read "Engleby" is to be carried in the arms of a master."
--"The Denver Post"
"A cold, clever book about a cold, clever character. . . . Sebastian Faulks will soon be known as one of the most versatile writers at work today-and one of the most entertaining."
--"The New York Observer "
"Beware: "Engleby" is no ordinary whodunit. . . . With artistry and skill, [Faulks] turns a would-be murder mystery into a meditation on consciousness."
--"The Washington Post"
"Engleby himself-funny, fiercely intelligent, unreliable, arrogant and solipsistic-is an intriguing . . . mesmerizing creation."
--"San Francisco Chronicle"
""Engleby "is a verbal performance, and Faulks jacks up the degree of difficulty by choosing to impersonate a brilliant, manic young sociopath. . . . Dazzlingly ironic, Nabokovian modernism."
--"The New York Times"

Allan Massie, Scotsman

'Evidence of Faulks's remarkable empathy and mastery of the
novelist's art... Compelling, disturbing and significant... A remarkable

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1023 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (31 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RS434
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 246 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,651 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
Engelby is a lonely man toughened from his working-class upbringing by a bullying father and residential public school. He'd won a scholarship for the latter, a pyrrhic victory considering the harsh treatment he received there. His life-long dependency on drugs, thieving to afford them, using his high intelligence to blag his way through Cambridge university into a journalist career creating an unenviable yet intriguing character.

Engelby was obsessed by an undergraduate girl-next-door woman, who went missing. Upset by this event, Engelby iteratively picked up hints through self-revelations about the girl's fate. I don't recall having read a crime story where the first-person narrator was so guilty even though he didn't initially know it. Very cleverly done.

Faulks is a literary writer of merit and, like Engelby was brought up near Reading, was a Cambridge undergraduate and became a journalist. Differences are that Faulks was born into a wealthy legal family and seems to be a happier and `better' person. Interesting that there are similarities in the journalism backgrounds (The Independent newspaper for example).

The writing style is very satisfying, handing us wish-I-wrote-that phrases such as - in discussing a meal - `I ate myself to a standstill'. However, I felt the denouement arrived three-quarters through the book. Some of the trial and post-trial analysis laboured with repetition, maybe with subtle purpose, but with the effect I skimmed some pages. Nevertheless, I'd heartily recommend this book to any writer exploring literary styles, and to any lover of a mystery told in a unique way.
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