Eleven by Mark Watson
Published August 6, 2013
- Author Mark Watson
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 the world again. Along the way, we get to see how the smallest of behaviours affects others - with a chain of events starting from Xavier one snowy day, all the way around and back to Xavier one fateful morning a lot later.
I really enjoyed the story, and the somewhat ambiguous ending isn’t of the frustrating kind. It’s full of possibilities. I loved that we sometimes stretched out to look at people across the city of London, into their futures and pasts, people that were inconsequential to the story, or perhaps crucial to the next turn of events. It was both sprawling and intimate, and brilliant.