When I picked up this book I was first attracted by the comparison to “One Day”, a book by David Nicholls which I liked. Well… I liked the first few chapters that I read and had been nagged mercilessly by my dad for several weeks to read. I never actually finished the book, but the comparison to it made me think fondly of the chapters that I’d half heartedly prodded and then come to mildly enjoy. The second thing was the orange and blue cover. In my experience, you can’t go wrong with orange and blue.
The book is a quirky and original novel about a man called Xavier Ireland, a radio DJ/movie reviewer from Australia who regularly doles out advice on his late night show, who’s actions lead to a chain reaction that spreads all around London city and affect lots of people in so many unexpected ways.
The style was hard to get into at first, swinging from present to past tense and running away in odd, short tangents as Xavier’s life affects everyone he meets. Even by the end of the book I was still finding it hard to come to grips with the way Eleven is written but far from being off-putting I found it enjoyable if bemusing.
I also expected the book to be extensively comedic, having been written by comedian Mark Watson. I have no idea why I’d formed that impression but I was very wrong. The novel does have its own, wry sense of humour but the major tone is one of heartfelt sincerity and you feel emotionally involved with everything that’s going on and not pushed away by the odd inappropriate joke.
This was a brilliant read from start to finish and I found it very hard to put down. The ending feels a little predictable if you’d been paying attention and the inevitability of it all made me feel a little let down but overall this book is a Must-Read.