Customer Reviews


121 Reviews
5 star:
 (56)
4 star:
 (42)
3 star:
 (16)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eleven out of ten
Somewhat out of character for a bloke who can have a novel on the go for well in excess of a month, I lay in the garden and devoured Eleven in a weekend. I attribute this partly to the weather, partly to the fact that my girlfriend was otherwise detained but mostly to the quality of Watson's writing.

Anyone familiar with Watson as a comedian will be aware that...
Published on 2 Aug 2010 by J Davis

versus
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice book
It was a nice book and an interesting read, did make me think about my actions and how they impact on others. I don't think it will win any awards but I would recommend it if you want a nice, simple read that will make you smile in parts and gasp in shock in others. Pippa is such a fantastic character and is really easy to connect to. Passed the book on to a friend who...
Published on 24 Aug 2011 by LeahSmith


‹ Previous | 1 2 313 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving read with some powerful themes, 26 Sep 2010
This review is from: Eleven (Paperback)
Xavier Ireland is an Australian living in London who has a popular late night radio phone-in show where people share their problems. For all the calm advice he doles out though, Xavier harbours a secret tragedy, one that he's come half way around the world to escape. As he works on putting his life back together, one innocuous decision sets off a chain of events that affects not only Xavier's life, but also the lives of 10 strangers, to dramatic effect.

One of Britain's best comedians, Mark Watson has written a sensitive and moving story about strangers brought together by random circumstance. Xavier's a complicated character, haunted by one mistake that cost him everything. Half of the story turns on slowly unveiling what that event is but for me, the pay off was a bit of an anti-climax - the event itself so small that it was difficult to believe the consequences and while that's perhaps partly the point of it, it nevertheless remained a bum note in an otherwise good book.

The other half of the story draws on the unveiling of the events connecting the eleven characters and this worked really well. While Xavier anchors the action, the novel is studded with a host of characters, any of whom could be one of the eleven. Of these, Xavier's radio sidekick, the ever-optimistic Murray is deftly portrayed - a sad sack with a stutter he's ambitious but knows that without Xavier he'll never have a shot while Pippa, a Geordie and former athlete who now works as a cleaner is an interesting counterfoil to Xavier and the development of their relationship holds the interest.

The themes of regret, guilt and second chances are powerfully drawn and there were some very moving moments - particularly with the story of Julius, an overweight boy on a council estate who's picked on for his looks by his classmates and driven to desperate measures. There are some funny lines that stop it descending into misery, but this isn't a comedic novel and I enjoyed it for that.

While the central conceit could have become hackneyed in the hands of a less skilled writer, Watson never allows it to and there are enough surprises within the plot to keep it interesting. While this isn't a perfect read, it is nevertheless a good one and I definitely suggest checking it out.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars engaging, impressive, and in love with people, 15 Aug 2010
This review is from: Eleven (Paperback)
Xavier Ireland (there's a reason for the idiot name) unwittingly kicks off a swiftly escalating chain of events. Meanwhile, his past is catching up with him, and his present is putting him under pressure. It's a race between the darkly spiralling consequences of his own inaction and his own journey to become more responsible for his actions. It's a photo finish, too.

Readers familiar with Watson know he has a real quality to his prose. The immediacy of Eleven almost works against that, though, as clever similes distract from the present-tense involvement of the book.

Still, it's that up front humanity that makes Eleven his best yet. Here is a writer who adores people, and it's infectious. The central friendship between Xavier and his incompetent, mismatched wingman is the touching and flawed centre-piece of this affecting and intelligent novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oddly compulsive, 21 Nov 2013
By 
CeeCeeBee - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Eleven (Kindle Edition)
I say oddly, as not a great deal happens, a series of small events, with large consequences and all the while building to the big secret which the main character Xavier carries around with him like a lead weight making him stagnate rather than move forward. But, I really wanted to know what would happen, it's well-written and worth reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Goes most of the way to eleven, 26 Feb 2013
This review is from: Eleven (Kindle Edition)
When I discovered that Mark Watson's principle character was called Xavier Ireland I rather gritted my teeth. It seems rather ostentatiously wacky, even for an Australian DJ living in London. It's rather overloaded with meanings too - XI is of course eleven in Roman numerals, and xi is a great Scrabble word and Xavier is a great Scrabble fan. But Xavier and his name are worth tolerating, because as a character he's much less aggravating than his name.

In fact Xavier is appealingly flawed, with an understandable lack of street smarts and a believable lack of confidence with women. And Mark Watson's description of Xavier's relationship with the anarchic little boy downstairs mad me smile. However, there's also a Major Event in his history that's turned Xavier in on himself and crushed his self-confidence whose melodrama irritated rather than moved me.

So this novel occupies the safe mainstream of light, literate, modestly humorous, modern, urban fiction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eleven Plus, 7 Sep 2011
By 
Donna Bright "Donna Louise" (Walsall,England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eleven (Paperback)
I must admit had no idea who Mark Watson was before I read this Book, I know now that he is a very talented Author.I bought the book because I liked the concept of everyone being connected and events linking in and this idea serves the novel very well.
The main character is likeable because of his flaws and is not your regular Mr Good/Bad Guy as the main protagonist. The interlinking stories work really well and I couldnt put the book down because I cared so much about the characters.
A warm but realistic story with great heart. I would recommend this Book as an insightful, well written and ultimately very enjoyable read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 27 Oct 2010
This review is from: Eleven (Kindle Edition)
This is the first of Marks novels that i've come across and it didn't disappoint. Brilliantly structured and written, i'm looking forward to reading more of his work. Throughly recommended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On connectness, 25 Jan 2013
By 
JD Pawson (UK, Peterborough) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Eleven (Kindle Edition)
First heard this authors work on book at bedtime (his next book, the knot) so bought this one. Quite quite different. Takes a theme of connections, between people and events, circling round, skipping time as irrelevant for a glimpse into connections. A simple storyline, I soon realised it was the events that linked people that stitched this book together and started looking for them. Meanwhile the story moves on... I was shocked by the ending, which I found abrupt and muttered to myself (did the author have a deadline?), wanting more. Nice one
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful & gently encouraging read, 23 Aug 2010
This review is from: Eleven (Paperback)
I'd not read any of Mark's books before, and my reading is generally more along the lines of SF/fantasy/comparative theology, so it took me a little time to get comfortable with the more realistic fiction of this book. That being said, once I'd started into it, the web of seemingly minor connections between the characters and the underlying mystery of Xavier's past drew me on, and I ended up reading it all this afternoon.

My only criticisms really are that there are a few distracting 'look at me, I know big words' moments at the beginning of the book, though these mercifully die out quite quickly, and I might have wished for a slightly more definitive ending. However, I realise 'real' life does not always allow for this the way my usual fare does, so it's just something I'll have to learn to live with.

Overall, the book is infused with a great affection for human-kind, and the belief that, as inter-connected as we all are, even in a big city, the small interactions we have with our fellow Man can make a significant contribution to the whole, for good or ill. It reads as an encouragement to pass on small kindnesses, for the good of all concerned, and the mode of thinking it inspires will, I believe, stay with me for some time to come.

As an unexpected side-effect of reading the book, I now have an urge to find expat Australians and be nice to them, so there's that, too :)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A good read for blokes who don't do novels., 21 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Eleven (Kindle Edition)
I don't read novels. In fact, I don't read much at all.
But I like Mark Watson as a comedian very much and thought I'd take a chance on his book.
Too tight to pay for his new one, Hotel Alpha, I thought I'd start at the beginning with Eleven.
And I've devoured it in three days. (A book can often take me months to read).
Very readable, very entertaining. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Only downsides are that it's quite short and ends somewhat abruptly.
.
Oh, and I've just downloaded Mark's next book, The Knot, on offer at 99p!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it, 10 Aug 2010
By 
R. Wright "maginarygirl" (england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eleven (Paperback)
After reading 'Eleven' I felt sad because I wanted to carry on reading it forever. It was like I had spent the last few days hanging out with my new friends (the characters) and I didn't want that time to end. It was an excellant few days though, almost enough to make me want to lose my memory just so I can read it for the first time all over again.
It doesn't hurt that it is also beautifully written, with descriptions like "like candles into butter icing on a cake" and "lies in bed in a waiting room between thoughts and dreams". In this book Mark Watson has managed to find a perfect balance, it is thought provoking but not too heavy, sad but not depressing, real but not mundane, and funny but not ridiculous.
Put simply, if you appreciate good things, you will love this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 313 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Eleven
Eleven by Mark Watson (Paperback - 9 Jun 2011)
6.61
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews