Saturday, January 9, 2010


By Sebastian Faulks.

This is the first Sebastian Faulks novel I have read, and did so on the recommendation of a number of people who said I simply must read it. I am so pleased they insisted and I was so obedient.

This book is a first person account of the life of Mike Engleby. He's an odd sort of a man, clearly not that likable for some of the people he encounters but strangely endearing for the reader as we get more and more inside his head. We see of his hellish private school experiences, his attempts at fitting in at university, and his embarking on a career in journalism. We also see his thought processes as he attempts to make sense of the disappearance of a university friend. He has quirks aplenty and as some of his actions become more and more questionable I found myself liking him all the more.

Engleby is a deep, dark, funny and very stylish novel. It is thought provoking and a damn good read. I highly recommend it.

After reading this I shall have to go and dust off the languishing copy of Charlotte Gray which adorns my books shelf and has never been read...


Anonymous said...

Hi Vanda,

I definitely recommend "A Week In December", a cracking good read and a nice social commentary on life in London looking at everything from terrorism and drug taking to the credit crunch and footballers wives!
BTW I've just finished "Containment" and loved it, can't wait for "Bound" to hit the shelves!

Jason Payne
A Very Cold North London

Vanda Symon said...

Hi Jason,

We had a satellite picture on the front page of our newspaper yesterday showing Great Britain completely covered in white!

I saw A Week in December in the book shop but decided I should deal with some of my TBR pile instead of buying more new books.

Glad you enjoyed Containment - I'd better get Bound finished fast!

Anonymous said...

Hi Vanda,

The snowfall has been a lot heavier than anyone expected and far more long lasting, I'm amazed by how many newspaper inches have been dedicated to the weather back home (a Kiwi lad born and bred!)

My TBR pile has under gone several re-jigs as of late with a lot of very interesting looking books coming on the market, thank goodness for a long commute so I can get through it easily!



seana graham said...

Just chiming in here to say that I love Engleby. Reviewers seem to have been put off by the fact that Engleby is a bit of a questionable character, but I agree with your perspective that he works his way into our hearts somehow. No mean feat on Faulks' part!

I too have been eying A Week in December, but I think the one I really should get around to is Birdsong.