The Eleventh Man Discussion Points

1. Scott Turow wrote that The Eleventh Man "is about loyalty and survival and sacrifice -- and love...." Do you think any one of these elements predominates?

2. The Eleventh Man has many characters and is set in many locations. How does Ivan pull such a complex plot together?

3. Capt. Cass Standish is stopped by MPs who "didn't know what a WASP burns me up, Ben. I've been in this damn war as long as anybody, and so have plenty of other women." Is their service generally known today?

4. Cass and Ben face the dilemma of falling in love although she is married to a military man serving in a war zone. Do you think this would be an easier situation today than it was in 1943?

5. Vic Rennie's death comes early in the novel and seems particularly hard for Ben to accept. What do you think makes this so?

6. Were you aware of the conscientious objectors and their unpopularity despite their service in World War II?

7. Jake Eisman is a particular buddy of Ben's and Ben is particularly worried about him. Why?

8. Discuss the role of the football coach in motivating Ben.

9. The Seattle Times review said that The Eleventh Man "is a war novel with an anti-war heart." Do you agree?

10. Are you satisfied with the ending?

Synopsis  |  Discussion Points  | Background Notes