Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
This is my review of Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. A post-apocalyptic tale with a human feel.
Video review of Station Eleven
Station Eleven? What’s it all about?
Officially, this is the blurb from Goodreads:
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 saviour, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains – this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
Anything going for this?
While I agree with most of it I thought the story was about the human condition. What it means to be human and what it means to care. In many post-apocalyptic novels, we have dire consequence, ruthless adversaries, a horrific challenge to overcome and an overarching sense of despair. Granted, there’s a huge market for those stories but Station Eleven takes a different approach. It asks us about our relationships with each other, what the consequences are and what the end results might be. There is a message in this book and it’s about the importance and the frailty of connections.
Against a backdrop where most of the population has gone, no electricity or refined carbon fuels exist and early 19th Century medicine is once again king, we find ourselves on course with a fate put in motion twenty or so years earlier.The story is told in a beautiful and gentle way. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes dramatic, we are led toward the conclusion among a meandering path of interwoven tales. It’s an excellently written book with a lovely feel to it and well worth a read. You can buy it here: http://amzn.to/2xU2Sse
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