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on 26 March 2017
I enjoyed this well-written novel immensely. The story is centred on the life and lifestyle of Chris (alias Xavier). The very interesting slant to the theme is an exploration of the ways in which the action of a complete stranger can, unconsciously on their part, set off a chain reaction of events that can ultimately impact on those who would seem to be totally unconnected. I must admit that it took me a bit of time to get into the story but a bit of perseverence was soon rewarded as the pace and interest level increased significantly further in. The ending was sudden and dramatic, linking realistically with the sub-theme of the novel. This is a book for those who enjoy stories about human behaviour and relationships. While easy to read and entertaining - contains both humorous and serious moments - it provides some thought-provoking messages.
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on 2 August 2010
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 his appeal is down to more than just him 'being funny'; he's humble enough to endear himself without being too self-deprecating and his insight can challenge your thoughts without seeming preachy. These aspects of his personality are naturally evident in his writing.

Eleven is the story of eleven people with little in common other than their geographic location and a single string of related events, invisible to everyone but the omniscient reader. It's also the story of one of those eleven having his arm twisted into being a better person, having a tangible positive effect on his world while around him the aftershocks of a previous bad decision rumble on, more disastrously than he would have ever imagined.

It's a romanticised view, to some extent, and Watson applies a degree of artistic licence but it remains honest because it undoubtedly reflects exactly the sort of chain reaction of actions and consequences that is going on around us all the time, undetectable from the viewpoint of someone on the inside looking out.

Ultimately, Eleven serves as a touching illustration of how decisions we make or fail to make can affect ourselves and others in ways we couldn't dream possible, causing you to ask yourself the simultaneous questions 'Could I be better?', 'Should I be better?' and 'Why do I bother?' Sometimes warming, sometimes upsetting, its humour is present but subtle and its insight is greater than any comedian has the right to possess.

I fear I haven't done Eleven justice but that's why Watson is the successful writer, rather than me. He could retire today and spend the rest of his life looking back at what is already a superb storytelling career. But I hope he doesn't.
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on 26 April 2017
Others have already alluded to the abrupt ending, so I won't spoil it for anyone yet to read, but from a personal perspective I would have liked to known what happened next to the main characters... that is why this didn't get a five-star review...

I'm not going to regurgitate other reviewers' words, but I will say that I did enjoy the book immensely, I read it in two sessions on holiday, and can recommend others by Mark Watson too (The Knot & Hotel Alpha)....

("v)
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on 28 February 2017
Unfortunately it is just too annoying. The author self-consciously plays God, telling you what minor characters will be doing in 20 year's time and I found both his narrative tone and his characters too irritating to care about to continue reading beyond half-way.
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on 21 April 2017
Really easy read and a clever twist of the implications of our action or, lack of them. I was not expecting that end though.
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on 19 July 2015
Loved this book, read in about three days - just couldn't put it down. If your after a clever (but not too clever) feel good rom com free of most of the traditional clichés this is the book for you.
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on 19 July 2017
loved it
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on 30 July 2017
It's hard to explain why I loved this book but I really did. It's rare to feel you fully understand, even know the characters but I was totally absorbed.
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on 30 March 2017
A well written, easy going but thought provoking novel. Will be checking out more of his work very soon. Recommended.
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on 21 May 2016
Superbly written book. A real soul searcher which encompasses every day life brilliantly. An excellent, page turning read. Great for book clubs.
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