I had avoided this book, having loved both Birdsong and Charlotte Gray, but then Engleby won my wholehearted respect. I took both On Green Dolphin Street and Ian McEwan's Enduring Love on holiday and started both. I am going to commit heresy. I found McEwan so well researched it was contrived, but Faulks, surely equally well researched, came to me natural from the page. It had more flavour, smell and touch.