Number 11

Number 11

Book - 2017
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"Jonathan Coe finally provides a sequel to The Winshaw Legacy, the 1995 novel that introduced American readers to one of Britain's most exciting new writers -- an acerbic, hilariously dark, and unflinching portrait of modern society. In Number 11, Coe has filled his intricate plot with a truly Dickensian cast of characters. The novel opens in the early aughts with two ten-year-old girls, Alison and Rachel, and their frightening encounter with the "Mad Bird Woman," a mysterious figure who lives down the road. As the narrative progresses through time, the novel broadens in scope toward other people who are somehow connected to the two girls. We follow the trials and tribulations of Alison's mother, a has-been singer, as she competes on TV's reality hit I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! Rachel's university mentor confronts her late husband's disastrously obsessive search for an untraceable German film he saw as a child. A young police constable investigates the seemingly accidental and unrelated deaths of two stand-up comedians. And when Rachel becomes a nanny for ludicrously wealthy family, she discovers a dark and terrifying secret lying beneath their immense mansion in London's most staggeringly expensive neighborhood. Combining psychological insight, social commentary, vicious satire, and even surrealist horror, this highly accomplished work holds a revealing and disquieting mirror up to the world we live in today"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2017
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780451493361
0451493362
Characteristics: 333 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Number eleven

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jontalk
Nov 02, 2017

Jonathan Coe breaks new ground in ways due to a unique approach in storytelling. Similar in ways to TV episodes, he introduces us to characters that are interwoven in other chapter/episodes, some of which draw comparisons to classics. Using symbols and ideas, he moves us through the short story-like chapters twisting and turning the plot. Then when least expected he adds a sort of horror/sci-fi element that comes from earlier story chapters. To say he's creative storyteller would be a vast understatement. Personally I'd love to see more authors bend the rules and mixing genres. Bravo Jonathan!

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