I picked up this one because several people had asked if I had read it – because part of it is written as journal entries – one of my narratives in Korakas is in journal form and they thought it might be useful to me. Very different from mine however, but I am glad I read it. Mike Engleby is an odd chap but worth reading.

If like me you were anywhere near London in the 80s it will make you smile. If like L you were at university during the 70s it will make you smile. It’ll probably do the same wherever you were or whatever you were doing during those decades. The unreliability of Mike’s (Engleby’s) narration crept over me slowly – maybe I’m just slow. I found myself laughing at some of the statements he made and as the story unfolded my laughter turned to gasping as I couldn’t believe he actually said some of the stuff, then it dawned on me that pooor old Mike might not be all he cracked himself up to be.

Another one I am pushing at people saying, ‘you must read this’ although since reading it I have read some of the reveiews and they are anything but complimentary!


6 comments so far

  1. Ruth on

    I do NOT need another book to read!
    The TBR pile by my bed is so high it fell on top of me a few night’s ago.
    On holiday I made a start on the MAGICAL REALISM reading bout. Loved one NIGHTS AT THE CIRCUS by Angela Carter, was relieved another was so short THE MEDUSA FREQUENCY bu Russell Hoban. Hubby didn’t take to TMF either even though I would describe it as more of a “boy’s” book.

  2. Caroline on

    I must check to see if it’s yet in paperback, for I’ve read all of Sebastian Faulks’s novels, and with (varying) enjoyment.

    Have you read his last but one, “Human Traces”?

    Whilst it did have its novelistic faults (Faulks isn’t the best writer of dialogue) I did learn a lot about why our uniquely human brains malfunction in a way those of animals don’t. So I recommend “Human Traces” if you haven’t read it.

  3. Anne on

    I read it in paperback – I’m afraid I don’t read hardbacks – not just the cost, but also the fact that they are heavy to carry round – I like the portability/bendability of a good old paperback.

  4. Christopher on

    I’ve just finished “Engleby”. Loved it.

  5. Anne on

    Glad you enjoyed it – I’ve fisnished Human Traces now – well worth a read.

  6. Jeremy on

    I, too, have read both “Human Traces” and “Engleby”, and I agree that both are well worth the read.

    Each novel is very different in tone from the other. It’s as if Faulks was breathing in when he wrote “Human Traces”, and was breathing out when he wrote “Engleby”. By this I mean that when one breathes out, one is more relaxed than when one breathes in.

    While “Engleby” is so different from “Human Traces”, it is similar in that mental and psychological malfunction is a theme common to both.

    Will Faulks continue this theme in his next work, I wonder?

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