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This is without any doubt the best work of fiction I have ever listened to. The book is fabulous, literate and pleasing in every possible way. The narrator does a first class job and clearly understands and enjoys playing Engleby. Memories of this book will stay with me for a very long time.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I love Sebastian Faulks' novels and I have both read other novels of his and listened to other audiobooks written by him which I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved his novels 'Charlotte Gray' and 'Birdsong', and I loved the audiobook of 'A Week in December'. I also quite enjoyed the audiobooks of 'Girl in the Lion D'Or' and 'Human Traces'. But the character in 'Engelby' was so dark and disturbed that I couldn't persist with this audiobook. The narration was probably fine, although I found the lisping cockney accent a bit annoying after a while, but the character of Engleby himself was so mentally unstable and isolated and weird (and he is the sole narrator in this book, so especially as an audiobook you feel yourself being drawn into his mindset which is a bit unsettling) that I couldn't finish this book. I wouldn't recommend it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Engleby is one of the most unique books that I have come across. At first I assumed it was about the life of a Oxbridge university student that has made his way from a lower class background. However this story takes a sudden drastic turn where you question the sanity of Mike Engleby.
I really enjoyed how during the first half of the book I sympathised with Engleby, particularly as he seemed to meet unintelligent and self-obsessed people constantly. However you begin to realise, particularly as you start to hear Jennifer's journal, that it seems to be Mike that has the personality problems.
As he struggles to come to grips with reality you feel yourself slipping with him as you listen on, and this feeling that Faulks manages to stir in the listener, really makes this book stand out. Engleby's narrative is so detailed and really allows the reader to envisage his life and experience each moment with him.
I found this book disturbing, melancholy but at times quite humourous. I would definitely recommend this book but be warned it is not a happy listen!
29 of 29 people found this review helpful
This was my introduction to Sebastian Faulks (I know, I know). To be honest, the first thing that struck me was the quality of the reading which is so well measured against the text. Then comes the narrative - gripping, nostalgic (70's - if you were there)and symapthetic; and a story that unravels in what initially appears to be an obvious way and then changes direction like a waterboatman. Mesmerising.
I have not heard a finer audiobook in the last three years - and I listen to lots. I actually believe that hearing this version, rather than reading the book myself, was a better experience on this occasion.
95 of 98 people found this review helpful