Sebastian Faulks’s new novel is a bolt from the blue: contemporary, demotic, angry, heart-wrenching, and funny, in the deepest shade of black.
Mike Engleby says things that others dare not even think. A man devoid of scruple or self-pity, he rises without trace in Thatcher’s England and scorches through the blandscape of New Labour.
In the course of his brief, incandescent career, he and the reader encounter many famous people — actors, writers, politicians, household names — but by far the most memorable is Engleby himself.
Sebastian Faulks’s new novel can be read as a lament for a generation and the country it failed. It is also a meditation on the limits of science, the curse of human consciousness and on the lyrics of 1970s’ rock music. And beneath this highly disturbing surface lies an unfolding mystery of gripping narrative power. For when one of Mike’s contemporaries unaccountably disappears, the reader has to ask: is even the shameless Engleby capable of telling the whole truth?