Sebastian Faulks, Author . Doubleday $24.95 (319p) ISBN 978-0-385-52405-6

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. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/16/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Paperback - 342 pages - 978-0-09-945827-2
Paperback - 319 pages - 978-0-307-38788-2
Open Ebook - 260 pages - 978-0-307-47268-7
Hardcover - 342 pages - 978-0-09-179450-7
Hardcover - 978-1-4074-1361-7
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4464-1292-3
Hardcover - 978-0-09-192081-4
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