Station Eleven Book Review
It’s The End of The World As We Know It
This book, Station Eleven, will have you on the very edge of your seat. The end of the world will feel a little too possible. The pace of the book won’t leave you a chance to set it aside. You will be hooked from the beginning to the very last page and you will mourn the ending of it. That is what Emily St. John Mandel delivers in Station Eleven, a thrilling adventure that you can not look away from.
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What is Station Eleven About?
This book is about the end of the world. A version of the swine flu, called the Georgia Flu, takes the world over in a matter of days. In its wake, most are dead. The survivors may as well be left on a different planet altogether. No electricity, gridlock blocking any form of transportation, no grocery stores, restaurants, or retail left. No cell phones, no airplanes, and almost no one is left behind. The few that survive have to keep on surviving, even if that means killing. Because nothing is what it was. It’s ugly out there.
Meet The Characters of Station Eleven
- Jeevan is the first character we meet and one of the few we get to know before the flu outbreak. His character begins and ends the story for us. He has been hopping from one job to another and believes he has finally found his calling as an EMT. His relationship is in its final stages as the flu approaches. He is warned about the epidemic in time to go to his handicapped brother with supplies and wait it out. It takes him a long time to realize that help is not coming. He will have to help himself.
- Kirsten was just a child when the flu struck and robbed her of everything. She loves acting and it is the only thing that she keeps in her life both before and after the end. Part of the Traveling Symphony, she is with one of the few groups that actually travels through the fallen world. Kirsten’s goal is to first survive, and second help others forget what they have lost.
- Arthur, the actor from a small town whose death begins the book and marks the end of normal. His life is like the sun which all the other characters orbit around to create the cast who weave this story so beautifully.
What I Liked About Station Eleven
Everything I love about this book, is also what I hate about it. The author makes everything feel a little too possible. You can’t help but become keenly aware of how quickly everything could fall apart. The horror of it all feels very close to home. When I was done reading this, I was ready to build a bunker and stock up on astronaut food. It’s scary. And it’s raw. Loss at the level written about in Station Eleven is not something that can be considered without some serious heartache and this book is full of heartache. And regret. But also hope, and love, and reliance. It’s terribly sad and wickedly lovely.
From the Book Jacket of Station Eleven
An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
A National Book Award Finalist
A PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end.
Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.
About The Author of Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel
Emily St. John Mandel is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Toronto Book Award, and the Morning News Tournament of Books, and has been translated into 31 languages. A previous novel, The Singer’s Gun, was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
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