Every once in a while there comes a book I wish I had written. I have always loved the Sebastian Faulks style of writing but with Engleby, the love turned into reverence.
This is the story of Mike Engleby, a working-class boy who wins a place at an esteemed English university. But with the disappearance of Jennifer, the undergraduate Engleby admires from afar, the story turns into a mystery of gripping power. Sebastian Faulks’s new novel is a bolt from the blue, unlike anything he has ever written before: contemporary, demotic, heart-wrenching – and funny, in the deepest shade of black.
Sample this :
If you can picture Mahler’s Fifth, particularly the Adagio that plays over the opening shots of the film [Death in Venice] – that’s the kind of feeling I’m after. It’s not that easy to put into words because words have too many meanings that clutter everything up. Very blunt instruments, words – because of all those useless but unavoidable connotations. Though if you could find the words to go where Mahler went in that Adagio, I’m not sure you’d like it. A bit of the vagueness of music stops you going completely mad, I imagine.
Lust is to some extent an expression of optimism: breed because life’s good, let’s have more of it.