Number 11

Knopf. Jan. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780451493361.$27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780451493378. F
OrangeReviewStarThe number 11 figures ominously in each strand of this craftily plotted novel. It begins as the address of a mysterious house in the woods where two girls track down a local known as the Mad Bird Woman. The two friends, Rachel and Alison, reappear throughout, although their paths diverge when a social media misunderstanding comes between them. Eleven again crops up significantly on a film canister containing an obscure old TV film, as the bus route that Alison travels to university in Leeds, and as the banquet table at which a potential murderer lies in wait for his victim. Also appearing at regular intervals in the story are members of the obscenely wealthy Winshaw family, last seen in Coe's 1995 novel, The Winshaw Legacy, whose excessive greed and corruption adversely affect most of this book's characters.
VERDICT Coe succeeds in bringing together the many threads woven through this darkly comic novel with political and economic undercurrents and one big, hairy spider. A very pleasurable read. [See Prepub Alert, 7/25/16.]
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing