Jonathan Coe – Number 11

My favourite book of all time is Jonathan Coe’s What a Carve Up! (here’s the review:…) after I read House of Sleep and The Rotter’s Club. Stupidly I stopped reading Jonathan Coe after that.

Then last year I came across Number 11 in a book sale. It was selling for 5 euro so I bought it, however due to my system the book came up and I read it, curious if Coe had lost his spark.

He hasn’t

Number 11 is a sort of sequel to What a Carve Up!: the novel deals with the corrupt nature of politics, the manipulative aspect of media and how people are badly affected by the decisions taken by the upper classes.

The book consists of a series of interconnected stories, all linked by the Winshaws, who made their first appearance in What a Carve Up! AND that book is self referenced a couple of times as well, a lot of the main characters in this novel reappear in some of the stories as well. Thus detail and destinies cross and entwine themselves; a literary technique I’m fond of, hence the five stars.

One thing I admire about Coe is how he can mix and mash different genres with fluidity. Number 11 contains elements of mystery, horror, drama and comedy, not to mention the plethora of artists and directors he name drops. In other words this makes it a fun book to read.

If you haven’t read …Carve Up! no worries as Number 11 holds up on its own BUT enjoyment of the book is enriched if the first part of this novel is read.

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