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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  3,746 ratings  ·  347 reviews
Xavier Ireland is a radio DJ who by night listens to the hopes, fears and regrets of sleepless Londoners and by day keeps himself very much to himself - until he is brought into the light by a one-of-a-kind cleaning lady and forced to confront his own biggest regret.
Paperback, 388 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,746 ratings  ·  347 reviews

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May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge
What a lucky find. I have been to see Mark Watson's stand-up performance before, and really enjoy his sense of humour, but I had no idea he could write as well! And while his stand-up can be quite frenetic at times, his writing (in this case, at least) is very measured and restrained. The comparisons to David Nicholls are spot-on in my opinion - love them both.

Watson's humour and his fondness of Australia shine through, but this is not a comedy. It's almost a parable - a story about action and
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Quite simply, I liked this from the off, and read it in three sittings. It's not High Art, it's chick lit really, only male authors never get patronised with the term, but it sits very comfortably alongside Lisa Jewell (even the cover is similar to hers of a few years back) and, I gather, One Day, which I confess I've never read. Mark Watson is a gifted writer; he has a light touch (again, I mean this as a compliment, whoever sets out to write a 'heavy' book?) and you'd not know from his tone of ...more
Eddie Owens
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Hebblethwaite
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Here’s a chain of consequences: early last year, I was at a work conference where, one evening, a group of us went to see Mark Watson in stand-up. His name was half-familiar, though I couldn’t quite place it; but I love good comedy, so I decided to take a chance and go along anyway – and I’m glad I did, because Watson was hilarious.

A few months later, I was in an unfamiliar part of town, and popped into the local library, where I saw a novel by an author named Mark Watson. A quick glance at the
Karen ⊰✿
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr_closet_2019
Xavier Ireland moved from Australia to London five years ago and is a late night talk-show host. He has become a quasi-therapist to his listeners, but in his usual life he is a loner who tries not to get involved in other people's lives.
As the story unfolds, we discover what happened to Xavier which caused this change in him (including changing his name from Chris), and he also discovers a way to try and get back to his old self.
Although this is the main story, there is also another large thread
Nick Davies
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, favourites
This was a really pleasant surprise. It'd be a disservice to dismiss this contemporary novel by comedian and author Mark Watson as just 'bloke lit', but it would also be inaccurate to over-analyse this and describe it in terms of the existentialist and philosophical points it makes. It was just a very readable, very enjoyable, thought-provoking little novel.

The central story concerns a late-night radio DJ, his friendship with his co-presenter/producer, and the other relationships he has/had.
Katy Noyes
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

After reading Hotel Alpha, I was keen to try more by Watson, I really liked his ideas and style of writing, using multiple narrators but showing a great grasp of juggling several lives and storylines and intertwining them.

This is more keenly observed here, with the actions of one person affecting the next, then the next and so on, with a chain of eleven people and their lives becoming entwined in small ways.

It all begins with a radio DJ, Australian Xavier Ireland (a name he's taken
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a classic holiday read: plucked from the bookshelf of a villa on the basis that I like the author (as a stand-up) and it was compared to One Day (which I loved) on the cover. Easy to read and entirely undemanding, it was perfect for slotting in between stopping the kids falling into the pool and slapping on sun-cream.

There's a nice concept driving the book which is, I suppose, where the One Day reference comes in: an observation of the butterfly effect at work. One action (or indeed,
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book in under two days. I found it delightful, engrossing, and a great book with which to begin my summer reading. Goodreads had recommended this book because I am such a huge fan of One Day by David Nicholls (please read if you haven't).

I found that I was not disappointed. Mark Watson created a concise narrative while interweaving at large overall theme of connectivity. His ability to jump between two parallel stories without losing the reader was impressive, and more so to
Jun 01, 2011 rated it liked it
What a laborious read. This book frustrated me so much yet I reflect on it with a sense of fondness. Xavier is a likeable protagonist with qualities and issues we can all relate to. Some beautifully constructed sentences and quirky characters leave me wondering how I truly felt about this story.

I began the book with high expectations, waiting for excitement and brilliance, what I encountered was a book dealing with the everyday, but with an exciting addition of a domino effect of consequences.

Sean Randall
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'd never heard of Mark Watson in any context other than stand-up comedy before, even less had I actually ever scene him perform. This book cost me 0.99 and is now back up to a fiver on Kindle. The synopsis sounded interesting, no more than that, so it really was a bit of a whim purchase.

Seeing an endorsement for the man by Stephen Fry as soon as you open the book certainly impacts, but the writing is powerful enough to drag you in all by itself. From that opening, that cold, still, snowy
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
'Eleven' is the best book I've read in a while, I bloody loved it! You can feel while reading that Mark Watson is a comedian, but it's not all 'HAHA THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE SO FUNNY'. It's subtly funny, but also sad, it's light yet you really feel for all the characters involved and everything just clicks.

It makes you wonder how the choices we make in life affect other people we may or may not know, without trying to point a finger at anyone, it doesn't try to hard. Linking eleven lives back to
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-book-groups
Eleven is a very quick read that offers up themes of moving forward after a loss and the interconnections among people, akin to the butterfly effect of a small distant change causing large changes at a later point in time. These effects are like a web of connections that we are either trapped in or spinning as we go depending on your perspective. The characters are realistic and the humor of London lives bubbles gently throughout, even as the protagonist wrestles with his own loss and ...more
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love Mark Watson's comedy and thought that this novel would be Laugh Out Loud funny like Watson's stand up routines, however 'Eleven'differed completely from my expectations. I really loved Xavier as a main character and the whole narrative and perspective. The subplots were as interesting and appealing as the main plot and the interweaving of characters was well thought-out. The only negative really was that I found the connections to be a bit too clunky, I would have liked more of subtlety, ...more
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
This isn't going to be a normal review more of a 'what did I think about the book in 5 sentences '
All in all the book was okay . I needed nearly the 100 pages to really get into the story and still then I was slightly confused because of the 11 people you get to know in the book. Their perspectives aren't separated in chapter or anything so you get confused easily. The middle part was quit well but the last two or three chapter were somehow boring because they stretched so much .
A little bit dissapointed!
I came to find this book because I love One Day by David Nicholls and I was hoping to read something similar.....not quite, really:((((
Apr 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Eleven by Mark Watson
Recommended for people who like: Love Actually, Crash, Sleepless in Seattle
“Genre” Tags: Everyone is Connected, People Trying to Find Happiness

The Official Summary: ONE MOMENT... ELEVEN LIVES... ENDLESS CONSEQUENCES (Yup. That’s it. It’s ok, I’ll fill it in for you)

I worry I might be missing something. Several reviews for this book that I have read on GoodReads talk about how hilarious and smartly done it is. I will agree that the writing is well done, but I
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Before I start this review, I would give it 3.5 stars but I decided on 3 for this.

I've read a lot of the 'lad lit' genre and I am a big fan. There's not many authors of the genre that allow the audience to have a main protagonist and also other main characters sharing the same perspective in the novel.

This book does take a while to get used to the narrative style and diction but once you get past that, it's a enjoyable read. The time does fly by and you realise that you've read more than what
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
We're all familiar with films such as Short Cuts, Love Actually, or Amorres Perros, or the dreadful Crash, that express a theme using various characters who happen to cross paths and trigger events in the other characters' lives. It's the narrative form of the butterfly effect -- the idea that a small, apparently inconsequential action (or inaction) by one person can trigger a cascade of effects in the lives of countless number of people whom that first person has never met. One of the ...more
Jayne Charles
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’m always a bit prejudiced when it comes to authors who are already famous for doing other things – thinking maybe their writing doesn’t have to be as good as an unknown person’s would have to be to secure a publishing deal. These fears proved to be out of place here, though, as the writing was superb. And despite being written by a comedian, humour is not its main concern. It has drama, romance, real life, and a fair bit of tragedy. There are funny bits – the image of the person’s gut “ ...more
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Picked almost at random as something that looked good to read on holiday. Wow. This is one of the best books I've read this year. Xavier Ireland is a late night radio DJ, working with his friend Murray to help listeners with their problems. Xavier has a secret though, and it's the reason he is in London instead of his home country, Australia. When Xavier fails to help a teenage boy from being bullied it sets in motion a chain of events that affect the lives of eleven strangers.

The "butterfly
Ellen May
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the omniscient narrative of this story- the third person narrator knew every detail of the characters and would throw in unexpected details- such as the date they would die or what they were doing a week from the present moment.

The story was cleverly constructed, using a 6 degrees of separation idea, and Watson employed really imaginative ties to bring the characters together (bank notes was a favourite). The story didn't make me laugh out loud but I did giggle in places, I
H R Koelling
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a sweet book with a great tone. I could really relate to the protagonist, who was a deeply caring person who often tried too much until a great calamity befell him, which suppressed his benevolent character.

And, although the concept of tying people's lives together through seemingly inconsequential events is not new, I liked how the author presented the domino effect of missed opportunities that, in the end, make for a spectacular and unforeseen climax to the novel. How often, in
Feb 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book really makes you think about the people who pass through your life every day, some noticed, many not. And how one single choice on our part can end up having repercussions in untold numbers of other lives. In this book, eleven people are effected by the ripple effect of a simple choice, one that perhaps each of us has made at some point or another in our lives. This book follows the course of those ripples in a sometimes confusing but always entertaining and engaging way. It's clever, ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun-or-frivolity
This book is about a bunch of different people, many of whom don't even know each other, and how their lives are interconnected. One action sets off a chain of events with major impacts in each of their lives.

I like the premise, and it's a really interesting story. I think what I enjoyed most of all is the way everything was explicitly spelled out. You encounter a character, and instead of wondering what ever happens to him or her after the book is over, you're told in no uncertain terms. I
Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Watson mixes humor amidst some pretty wrenching scenarios. There was one point in this book where I physically could not continue reading because of what was happening. However, there is redemption in the harsh circumstances. I only gave it three stars because although the narrative surrounds protagonist Xavier Ireland, there are ten other minor characters who are easily confused. Also the book is written in past, present, and future tense and making the adjustment can be a little jarring. I was ...more
London, one of the world's busiest cities. Londoners, making their way in the bustle of all that industry.

Eleven is a story of reactions, how the action & inaction of individuals impact on their neighbours, colleagues, loved-ones, strangers... Centring on Xavier Ireland, a late-night DJ, it deals with the moments in our lives when we impact on others and, unintentionally, redirect their lives.

Eleven is accessible, clever, thoughtful & underwhelming, a lot like the protagonist. But it is
Apr 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Yes, this was a good one.....didn't love it, but liked it lots.
The main character was a likeable believable guy, and that always helps a story, but what really made it good, was the way the whole thing came together,a knock on effect of one action and how it spread out from one person to the next, causing big waves and minor ripples.
The last few pages have a nice unexpected ending, which is all too rare three days.....especially in a book like this, where the future of a lot of the minor
Monica Co
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read somewhere on Goodreads that this book is an hidden gem. This is true. I picked it up by chance at my local library, and I found myself totally absorbed by the crossing stories of a group of londoners of our time.
The inability to communicate and lack of empaty, typical of the contemporary lifestyle, are at the centre of this novel, but are depicted through a series of funny and light situations. You will laugh and cry at the same time, but will never get bored.
I recommend it very much!
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
This may probably one of the worst book ending ever. I know, Mark Watson was playing safe when he ended it that way but WHAT THE ACTUAL FRICK? by ending the book that way, he actually never ended the book. every story, sub-story, plot twist are left hanging in the air. He actually violated the contract about the author and the reader (accdg to John Green) the author tells the story, the reader reads it, nothing more. but to end the story like that. this violates it.
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Mark Andrew Watson (born 13 February 1980) is an English stand-up comedian and novelist.

Watson was born in Bristol to Welsh parents. He has younger twin sisters called Emma and Lucy and brother Paul. He attended Henleaze Junior school and then Bristol Grammar School, where he won the prize of 'Gabbler of the year', before going to Queens' College, Cambridge, where he studied English, graduating
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