Mike Engleby says things that others dare not even think.
When the novel opens in the 1970's, he is a university student, having survived a 'traditional' school. A man of devoid of scruple or self-pity, Engleby provides a witheringly frank account of English education.
In the course of his subsequent career, which brings us up to the present day, he and the reader encounter many famous people - actors, writers, politicians, household names - but the most memorable is Engleby himself.
For beneath the disturbing surface of his observations, lies an unfolding mystery of gripping power. When one of his contemporaries unaccountably disappears, the reader has to ask: is even the unembarrassable Engleby capable of telling the whole truth?
'Engleby' can be read as a lament for a generation and the country it failed. It is also, in passing, a consideration of the limits of science, the curse of human consciousness and some of the odder lyrics of 1970s rock music.