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“Powerful and poignant…Entertaining reading from a deservedly popular chronicler of the American West.” –Booklist
“Doig, as always, brings American history alive in a rousing narrative that doesn’t airbrush the past; questions of loyalty, courage and conscience, he shows, were just as complicated during World War II as they are today.” –Kirkus Reviews
THE ELEVENTH MAN
By Ivan Doig
IVAN DOIG’s new novel, THE ELEVENTH MAN (Harcourt, October 13, 2008), is a World War II adventure both epic in scale and profoundly human.
Plucked from pilot training by a propaganda machine hungry for heroes, Ben Reinking is assigned the unwelcome task of chronicling the fortunes of his college football teammates—legendary for their undefeated season in 1941—as they fight in the war’s various and lonely theaters. What results is a brutal test of the law of averages, which holds that all but one of his ten teammates should come through the conflict unscathed.
Ben’s adventures take him from the runways at East Base in Montana, to a destroyer in the Pacific, an anti-aircraft gun pit in England, and into the savage battles in the New Guinea jungle. He crisscrosses the globe to visit teammates in the Marines, the Coast Guard, and at a conscientious objector’s camp.
“I was gathering material for another book, when I lucked onto some mention of a Montana college football team that had all gone into the war, with terrible loss,” says Doig. “I saw in that the storyline for a novel: what if you were the eleventh man, trying to dodge as fate closed in on that team, one by one?”
Doig himself was a U.S. Air Force reservist on active duty during the Cuban missile crisis, and later narrowly missing assignment to Vietnam. “The military version of fate has been part of my own life and naturally works its powers in my writing,” says Doig.
A deeply American story, THE ELEVENTH MAN is Ivan Doig’s most powerful novel to date.
For more information, visit: www.ivandoig.com
The Eleventh Man by Ivan Doig