‘His most brilliant novel yet’ Daily Telegraph
Mike Engleby has a secret...
This is the story of Mike Engleby, a working-class boy in the seventies who wins a place at an esteemed English university. A man devoid of scruple or self-pity, Engleby provides a disarmingly frank account of English education.
Yet beneath the disturbing surface of his observations lies an unfolding mystery of gripping power. When Jennifer, the fellow student he admires from a afar, disappears the reader has to ask: is Engleby capable of telling the whole truth?
‘Engleby himself is the most vivid personality Faulks has yet devised... engagingly lucid and disarmingly funny...’ Guardian
British bestseller Faulks's latest (after Human Traces) comprises the dark confessional of Mike Engleby, an intelligent but strange university student suspected in a woman's disappearance. His journal-like account of his life, which begins in the turbulent 1970s and extends to 2006, includes day-to-day accounts of college life, pontifications on time, politics and the nature of thought, and flashbacks to his childhood particularly the years he spent as a scholarship student at the exclusive Chatfield, where he was taunted and abused by his classmates (they, among other things, called him "Toilet"). As the journal progresses, his obsession with university student Jennifer Arkland deepens: he reads her mail, sits in on her classes, joins her political society and becomes involved in her student film. When Jennifer disappears after a party and is presumed dead, Mike finds himself under police investigation. The case remains open for over a decade, and Mike continues on with his life, but Jen is never far from his thoughts, and as he continues to return in his mind to Jen's disappearance, he reveals more about that night and about himself. Though sometimes heavy with the tropes of self-deception and misdirection, this is a compelling psychological portrait of a man who is at once profoundly disturbed and wryly funny.