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Eleven

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  3,208 Ratings  ·  315 Reviews
Xavier Ireland is the assumed name of a radio-show host with a devoted following of listeners riveted by the sleepless loners who call in throughout the night to seek his advice. Off the air, he leads a low-key life of avoiding his neighbors, playing Scrabble, and maintaining an awkward friendship with his cohost, Murray. But his life begins to change when he meets a clean ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Scribner (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Andrea
May 08, 2015 Andrea 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 i
...more
Sarah
Oct 20, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Hebblethwaite
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
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Ana M. Román
Un libro deprimente escrito por un comediante.

No te dejes engañar por su portada o su autor, no contiene humor, no es ni siquiera mínimamente divertido. Es gris, como sus personajes, de los cuáles sólo salvaría a Pippa que le da algo de energía, no mucha, a un libro que carece de ella.

El significado que el autor quiere que extraígamos del libro, nada sutilmente, no es malo: cada acción y omisión tiene su repercusión. Una repercusión en cadena como ondas en un estanque que se reproducen sin final
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Nick Davies
Jul 07, 2016 Nick Davies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, 2016
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. The
...more
Katy Noyes
Oct 02, 2015 Katy Noyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 on)
...more
Rob
Jul 24, 2012 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, in
...more
Chelsebelle
Jul 06, 2016 Chelsebelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 com
...more
Tracy-Lee
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.

My
...more
Sean Randall
Feb 06, 2013 Sean Randall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Febua
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Aline
Dec 22, 2014 Aline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'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 o
...more
Sonia
Nov 14, 2012 Sonia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No te dejes engañar por la sinopsis, este libro no tiene argumento. Ni hay conexiones increíbles, ni consecuencias imprevisibles, ni cambios vitales, de hecho te preguntarás durante la mayoría del libro: ¿de qué va todo esto, qué es lo que me quiere contar el autor?

Una historia vacía que nunca llega a ser lo que pretende ser, un quiero y no puedo. La supuesta transformación vital del personaje resulta superficial, yo diría que ni llega a producirse, su pasado secreto acaba siendo una pequeña his
...more
Christine Blachford
It took a good few chapters for the sprawling, chattering nature of the prose here to really grab me, but once it did I was totally hooked. Xavier Ireland, reeling from a tragedy in his home country of Australia, has made his way to London to hide away from the world. He’s a moderately famous late night radio DJ but otherwise has few relationships and likes it that way.

The story weaves a magical story of Xavier’s gradual unwinding, of coming to terms with what happened and finding his feet in th
...more
Kate
Feb 14, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 connection ...more
Kelly
Jun 20, 2012 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
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
Maike
Jun 30, 2016 Maike 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 '
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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 .
Savanna
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)

Review:
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 though
...more
Tony
Oct 06, 2011 Tony rated it really liked it
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 weaknesse ...more
Jonesy_laaa
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 y
...more
EpidermaS
Jan 02, 2016 EpidermaS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
„Jedenaście” jest doskonałym dowodem na to, że i lekka książka może nieść ze sobą potężny ładunek emocji – wzruszenia, melancholii, optymizmu i nadziei. Piękno i siła takich historii tkwi w ich prostocie. Atakują równocześnie umysł i serce, pozostając w nich na długo.

Autor już na początku uwodzi czytelnika przepięknym, mało poetyckim, ale na swój sposób magicznym opisem zimowego krajobrazu. Zanim zdążyłam przewrócić stronę, wsiąkłam całkowicie w klimat zaspanego Londynu. A później… Później czuł
...more
Jayne Charles
Sep 09, 2012 Jayne Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 “imposin ...more
Elle Cunningham
Dec 27, 2014 Elle Cunningham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 part
...more
Alison
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 eff
...more
H R Koelling
Jan 24, 2012 H R Koelling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 retro
...more
Cara
Sep 25, 2011 Cara rated it really liked it
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 lov
...more
Jackie
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
Aine
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
...more
Clarissa
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
Louise
Apr 18, 2013 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 charact
...more
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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 wi
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