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Ebook The Eleventh Man by Ivan Doig read! Book Title: The Eleventh Man
The author of the book: Ivan Doig
Edition: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date of issue: October 13th 2008
ISBN: 0151012431
ISBN 13: 9780151012435
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 399 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.6

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"Sure, you could believe for all you were worth that you were too young and fit and lucky to be chased down by death, but all of accumulated history yawns back, 'Why not you?'" — from "The Eleventh Man"

Ivan Doig's previous novel, the terrific "The Whistling Season" (2006) casts a long shadow, and "The Eleventh Man" never escapes from it to soak up some sun, but that doesn't make this World War II tale a bad one. It's Doig, so of course it's good. In the "The Eleventh Man" the starting 11 from a legendary (fictional) Montana college football team (!) are upset — big time — by the law of averages on the homefront and in war-torn areas of the globe. The U.S. military propaganda machine picks Ben Reinking, son of a newspaper editor, to chronicle the wartime exploits of his 10 former teammates in puff pieces designed to appear in small-town newspapers across the country, an effort to boost morale. The odds say the vast majority of these men will make it through alive, but there are no oddsmakers at the end of a gun or flying a plane or on a ship when a kamikaze pilot attacks. Ben chafes against his superiors as he travels forth and back to his former teammates: on the U.S. West Coast patrolling for Japanese submarine crews seeking fresh water; in battles in Guam and the Battle of the Bulge; flying ships from Montana to Alaska to hand over to the Russians. All the while Ben pursues a relationship with a female pilot — a WASP — married to a soldier serving overseas.

Like nearly all of Doig's work, Montana is central to the tale. And although there are several exciting battle scenes, this isn't an action/adventure book at its heart. Doig goes small instead of big; Ben's struggles of conscience and the gut-punch horror of these men's deaths, one by one, are the focus, not battle-hero stuff. Ben thinks, "The damned odds again. Why can't the numbers just behave and quit giving out coincidences like card tricks?" And the deaths of so many men with one common tie does seem like a tremendous stretch, the dramatic license of a novelist. But in the acknowledgements at the back of the book Doig reveals that 11 starting players from a Montana college apparently did, in fact, die in World War II! Truth as strange as fiction.

Doig's writing here, while of course good, doesn't seem as evocative as it was in "The Whistling Season." And "The Eleventh Man" suffers a bit from the bouncing around from man to man as Ben follows the teammates at home and abroad. At just over 400 pages, and with 11 players and a host of other characters, we simply don't have enough time to get to know everyone. The novel would have worked better much longer, more detailed. A more epic treatment with the same real-person tone would have been more moving. But, hell, Doig's 70 years old! He probably just wants to make sure he finishes!

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Read information about the author

Ebook The Eleventh Man read Online! Ivan Doig was born in White Sulphur Springs, Montana to a family of homesteaders and ranch hands. After the death of his mother Berneta, on his sixth birthday, he was raised by his father Charles "Charlie" Doig and his grandmother Elizabeth "Bessie" Ringer. After several stints on ranches, they moved to Dupuyer, Pondera County, Montana in the north to herd sheep close to the Rocky Mountain Front.

After his graduation from Valier high school, Doig attended Northwestern University, where he received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in journalism. He later earned a Ph.D. in American history at the University of Washington, writing his dissertation about John J. McGilvra (1827-1903). He now lives with his wife Carol Doig, née Muller, a university professor of English, in Seattle, Washington.

Before Ivan Doig became a novelist, he wrote for newspapers and magazines as a free-lancer and worked for the United States Forest Service.

Much of his fiction is set in the Montana country of his youth. His major theme is family life in the past, mixing personal memory and regional history. As the western landscape and people play an important role in his fiction, he has been hailed as the new dean of western literature, a worthy successor to Wallace Stegner.

His works includes both fictional and non-fictional writings. They can be divided into four groups:

Early Works
News: A Consumer's Guide (1972) - a media textbook coauthored by Carol Doig
Streets We Have Come Down: Literature of the City (1975) - an anthology edited by Ivan Doig
Utopian America: Dreams and Realities (1976) - an anthology edited by Ivan Doig

Autobiographical Books
This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind (1979) - memoirs based on the author's life with his father and grandmother (nominated for National Book Award)
Heart Earth (1993) - memoirs based on his mother's letters to her brother Wally

Regional Works
Winter Brothers: A Season at the Edge of America (1980) - an essayistic dialog with James G. Swan
The Sea Runners (1982) - an adventure novel about four Swedes escaping from New Archangel, today's Sitka, Alaska

Historical Novels
English Creek (1984)
Dancing at the Rascal Fair (1987)
Ride with Me, Mariah Montana (1990)
Bucking the Sun: A Novel (1996)
Mountain Time: A Novel (1999)
Prairie Nocturne: A Novel (2003)
The Whistling Season: A Novel (2006)
The Eleventh Man: A Novel (2008)

The first three Montana novels form the so-called McCaskill trilogy, covering the first centennial of Montana's statehood from 1889 to 1989.

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Reviews of the The Eleventh Man


Interesting, exciting story.


I never liked the book.


Very controversial Vpechalenija


The book is very deep! Tip for Reading.


Rarely do the books make me cry, but this one could.

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