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on 27 September 2012
This was the first of Mark Watson's books that I have read, and I was very glad I did.

First of all, if you have managed to avoid hearing much about the story so far, keep it that way and let the story unfold as it was intended. I will try to keep my review spoiler free, although this is no mean feat with a book like this!

The 'Knot', in the title of this book refers both to "tying the knot" (the main character is a wedding photographer), and also to the kind of knot one gets in the pit of their stomach. Dominic has had a knot in his stomach since an early age, and the novel follows him throughout his life, rarely explicitly confronting his 'knot', but showing how much it affects the way he lives his life.

The nature of Dominic's secret is something that is one of society's biggest taboos, but Watson's writing is completely unsensational, avoids loaded language and does not judge the characters, and I found myself sympathising with and pitying a character who in many other authors' hands would be completely unrelatable.

The book is at times - as you would expect from someone as witty as Watson - very funny, but at other points, it is completely heartbreaking. It is a fascinating and involving story and I would recommend it to anyone able to approach a very human story with an open and empathetic mind.
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on 17 August 2013
I loved this book! I started it straight after reading '11', needing to read some more from this excellent author, and I wasn't disappointed. A tender, moving love story with a big twist and an exhilarating ending. It made me laugh, made me cry, and I'll miss Dominic and Victoria, the main characters. I feel bereft now I've finished it, as with all great books! Can't wait to read more from Mark Watson... I still can't believe the comedian I've seen on Mock The Week etc is the same man who wrote this!! :)
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on 15 July 2013
I normally take a while to get into a book. However, as soon as you start reading the knot your immersed in the characters lives. There's something about the way Mark Watson writes that's very engaging and there's just so many parts to this book which I loved. I nearly finished it in 2 days its that good. It stirs up such a range of emotions. Its very witty but also had me crying a little in parts! READ IT!
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on 6 August 2014
A very interesting take on various old relationship themes. Not always entirely new, but some very fascinating insight into the viewpoint of a wedding photographer, a role which is often overlooked by other participants . Unfortunately although this began very well and was gripping until about half way through, I found some of the subsequent twists and turns of the story rather predictable and by the fourth part I was losing interest. It did redeem itself slightly towards the end, and the final pages were satisfyingly incomplete - with enough strands left in the air. All the same I did find myself wanting to give the protagonists a good shake and tell them to live with it and be grateful for what they have got!
Despite it all I did enjoy the main thrust of the story and thought there were some clever and unusual ideas. It is the first one of Mark Watson's that I have read, and I may well be prepared to try another one in due course.
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on 29 June 2014
Having ready 'Eleven' I knew that I already loved this authors style of writing and so was already very much looking forward to this read. I wasn't disappointed. He is just so easy to read. I have to warn you that this book does touch on a very sensitive subject but that doesn't distract from enjoying the book. I read this in a weekend and I found it hard to put down.
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In The Knot, we read the life story of wedding photographer Dominic Kitchen as he grows from boyhood to late middle age. Dominic is brought up in the London suburbs in a close family, his older brother mocking him in childhood and being patronising in adult-hood, while his older sister Victoria provides him with the friendship and support which other family members seem to withhold. The book explores Dominic's relationship with Victoria at great length, from childhood holidays in Southwold, through to Victoria's glamorous later life, in which her need for support leads Dominic to repay her for the strength she provided him in earlier years.

I enjoyed reading about Dominic's journey into photography, form helping out in a photographic shop on Saturday mornings, to being asked to help out on shoots and eventually becoming a partner in the business. Mark Watson gives us many stories about wedding days in which his comic talents come into their own.

However, the book is far from being a comedy, because it deals with some deep issues which of which is only revealed towards the end of the book and comes as a great surprise to Dominic and to we readers.

I enjoyed the book and found it to be a good read. I've not given it five stars, because at times I felt it lost it's pace and I found myself speed reading some sections when not much was happening. On the whole, I think Mark Watson has done very well with it though and I look forward to trying his new book Hotel Alpha which looks like a completely different type of novel.
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on 17 August 2013
Had seen Mark Watson in stand-up show at the Edinburgh Fringe a few years ago and thought he was great. After reading 'The Knot' realise he is a talented writer. Loved the book - a beautifully crafted novel of pathos and humour with well drawn characters. (This one would make a lovely film!) Looking forward to reading more of his work.
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on 21 September 2012
To be honest, I first got to know Mark Watson through his appearances on Fighting Talk, a sports comedy programme on BBC 5 Live, and have since enjoyed seeing his live stand up show and various TV appearances, from desperately trying to getting a word in edgeways on Mock The Week to stealing the show on Live At The Apollo. That such a funny, modest person could then have the talent to go on to write such an engrossing, moving and witty novel is both awe-and-jealousy inspiring in equal measure.

The surprise subject matter has been mentioned in other reviews. Not wishing to spoil it, I'll just say that I had no problems with it at all - it's the way these subjects are handled rather than the subjects themselves that seem to cause problems but Mark gets the tone just right. Like his comedy, it is the observations of the little things in the main protagonist's life that I particularly enjoyed, and the more I read the more I was drawn in until I had to read the book in one sitting, right through to its brilliantly clever ending.

The Knot is a perfectly-pitched, moving and humorous novel which I would recommend unreservedly. It made me cry, in a good way, and is a sure sign that when he's done with sitting there and being ignored on Mock The Week, Mark has plenty to offer the literary world.
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on 12 April 2013
I'd been looking forward to reading this after reading some initial reviews - I wasn't disappointed and in fact have read it in just two days.... I didn't realise he had written before and am now very excited about the prospect of trying the others.
The initial story outline seemed appealing but it was much more - I don't want to give the plot away but would just say excellent.
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on 2 November 2012
I hadn`t realised that Mark Watson had written novels until we saw him at the Fringe in August (incidentally, in response to other reviews, you're right...he's no Peter Kay- he's far less cliched, far funnier and excellent live). I immediately read Eleven and enjoyed it and then waited for the kindle price to come down a bit for The Knot. I wish I hadn't waited. I was engrossed. Ok, so it isn't War and Peace, but amongst some of the tepid fiction on sale today, it's a welcome relief. I can't actually remember the last time a book moved me to tears, but this one did...twice. Try hiding your snuffles in a spacious easyjet cabin! I loved it and felt that odd mix of sadness and contentment that often comes when you read the final page of a good book. Thank you, Mark. Can't wait for your next one.
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