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Preview — Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as ...more
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The book essentially follows Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The first few years were just about physical survival - crime was…more In a word: Too early.
The book essentially follows Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The first few years were just about physical survival - crime was rampant and it was all people could do just to ensure they would have something to eat and a safe place to sleep in.
Somewhat later (when most of the book takes place), things settled down a bit and people had time for a bit of leisure, hence the Symphony with its motto ("Survival is insufficient"), and Clark's museum.
Finally, towards the end of the book, we see people start thinking about the future and working on longer-term projects: baking bread, setting up infirmaries, and at the very end - restoring electrical power.(less) (hide spoiler)]
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"Survival is insufficient".
Star Trek: Voyager
Novels whose premise strips away the world as we know it can be tricky territory. They can be innately dramatic, overwrought, didactic and riddled with Big Questions about Life and Death that leave no room for contemplation. Think Ayn Rand on her best day.
Or they can be like "Station Eleven". Quiet. Dark. Elegiac. Lit from within like a mysterious firefly. Unhurried. Steeped in small acts and evocative landscapes. Lonely. Elegant. Radiant. ...more
It's a very particular kind of book done very well, which is not remotely a promise that you will like it. The jacket copy is not untrue, but it also isn't helpful. Yes, this is book about the end of the world as we know it, yes, this is a book about a post-apocalyptic Shakespearean troupe, yes, this is a book about a Hollywood actor's dispiriting love life. But that doesn't tell you how the book feels —what the experience is like reading it. This is less ...more
Even since reading The Stand by Stephen King when I was a kid, I’ve had a soft spot for apocalyptic plagues that wipe out humanity. Er . . . I mean in fiction, of course. Station Eleven is in that vein.
The Georgia Flu sweeps across the world, killing most of humanity. St. John-Mandel, using beautiful prose and poignant characterization, follows the lives of various survivors, tracing how their lives intersect in a group of entertainers called the Traveling Symphony. The ...more
on the night the world begins to end, a man has a heart attack and dies onstage while performing the lead role in king lear. considering that shortly after this, the georgia flu will have killed off 99% of the population and changed the world as we know it forever, it seems unlikely that he would be remembered among so many millions dead. but ...more
When the Georgia Flu sweeps around the world killing 99.6% of the population there were suddenly... a lot of people... to long for. The people missing from our lives is the hardest part. We mourn their loss, but we also have to mourn for the part of ourselves that is lost with each of their passings.
To survive is painful.
”Civilization in Year Twenty was an archipelago of small towns. These towns had fought off ferals, buried their neighbors, ...more
“The thing with the new world is it’s just horrifically short on elegance.”
Everyone loved this book. I’m talking EVERYONE. I have 1 – yep ONE – friend or person I follow on Goodreads who gave it less than 3 Stars. In order to prove how much of an idiot I am and that no one should take my opinion seriously, I will super giffify this review.
Station Eleven begins with the story of Arthur, who passes away on stage while performing ...more
Shakespeare is dead and I prefer him to ...more
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel’s 2014 novel is the "Velvet Elvis" of post-apocalyptic books, a surprisingly different form than usual with a style all its own.
“Post-apocalyptic literary science fiction” was one way I have heard it described, and also “pastoral science fiction” and I here adopt both descriptions. Mandel has certainly softened the Mad Max edges off her story and provided a ponderous, ...more
Indeed, there is a divide between those who have borne much and those who will never see so much. In the opening pages, renowned actor Arthur Leander dies while performing King Lear. Before the week is out, the vast ...more
“I don’t know, Jeevan. That’s the short answer. I don’t know what’s going on. It’s a flu, that much is obvious, but I’ve never seen anything like it. It is so fast. It just seems to spread so quickly –“
This is one of the rare times I’m actually searching for the right words and if you know me, you know that this doesn’t happen all too often. *lol* To describe this book is kind of hard though so bear with me when I don’t always manage to convey my thoughts and feelings. It’s not ...more
Thought-provoking, haunting, and atmospheric.
Station Eleven is an adult post apocalyptic/dystopian novel written by Emily St. John Mandel and I’m actually quite surprised by how enjoyable it was, especially considering that I bought this book on a whim two days ago without knowing anything about it whatsoever. Those who followed my reviews should know by now that SFF is my number one favorite genre to read, that’s ...more
"Station Eleven" is a novel that's so full of life. It ...more
I am not even talking about the cover - although actually, let’s take a second to talk about the cover. LOOK AT THIS COVER! Are you seeing it? So lovely. So so pretty. Looooook aaaaaaattttt itttttttt.
Okay, now that we’ve done that.
This book is so beautiful.
I don’t know what I expected. I honestly don’t really know why I picked this up, besides the aforementioned pretty-cover thing. I’m not a huge sci-fi person. I’m definitely not a huge post-apocalyptic dystopian ...more
The book is a study of lives before and after the end of the world (a flu strain wipes almost everyone out in short order - quite reminiscent of The Stand in that, but the characters here are far less colourful, there's nothing supernatural going on, and the actual days of dying are very much off screen).
There's very little action, tension, or intrigue in this novel but ...more
"We traveled so far and your friendship meant everything. It was difficult, but there were moments of beauty. Everything ends. I am not afraid."
Station Eleven is a book that sat hovering in my peripheral vision for a couple of years. I promised myself I would read it in 2017, and I'm really glad I finally did.
The book begins with the end.
The end of actor, Arthur Leander, and the end of the world in the form of a fast-acting flu-like virus. From that point on, the story ...more
Arthur Leander is a famous actor who suffers a heart attack and dies on stage just before a deadly version of the swine flu kills most of humanity. Station Eleven then uses Arthur as the center of a web of connections that we learn from the people in his life before, during and after the disease wipes out the world as we know it. Kirsten sees Arthur die as a child actor, and years later she’s part of the Traveling Symphony that tours the small towns of the ...more
wow wow wow. this book. this was quite unlike any other post-apocalyptic story i have ever read before. this didnt focus on the flu that eradicated 99% of earths population. this didnt go into detail about the origin of the disease or the worldwide attempt to contain it. the purpose of the book wasnt to explore the collapse of the world as we ...more
First, two points about my experience of reading so far in 2014.
1. I've read some great books this year, but in terms of highly anticipated new fiction, 2014 has frequently been disappointing. Elizabeth is Missing and The Miniaturist, two enormously hyped debuts I had been hearing about since around a year ago, were both perfectly readable and okay, but fell far short of what I expected from them; Sarah Waters' new novel The Paying Guests I found ...more
This was a wonderful book that really took me by surprise! A fantastic array of characters to follow - I was never bored.
In a world where a mutated version of Swine Flu wipes out 99% of the worlds population, society as we know it collapses, and with it everything we have ever known. The internet, electricity, airplanes, mobile phones, everything.
It starts with a performance of King Lear, the lead ...more
Everything that follows deals only with ...more
a post-apocalyptic pastoral. I like post-apocalyptic pastorals, their difference from other post-apocalyptic novels that prefer to focus on violence and devolving to a barbaric state. something so relaxing about contemplating an emptied-out world not full of hustle and bustle. all that time to think. but how does one go about eating? or fighting off the occasional aggressor? it would be important to have skill with a knife.
I appreciate the tender humanism at the novel's core.
Kirsten will always remember the night she saw famous actor Arthur Leander die onstage during a performance of King Lear. That same night, the Georgia Flu begins to rapidly spread, wiping out civilization as the world knows it. Things quickly change and many of the survivors begin to wander, including ...more
Reread March of 2017
Still a forever fave. It's so beautifully written and makes you *think* so much. Excited to discuss for book club tonight!
The story ...more
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Her fourth novel, Station Eleven, is forthcoming in September 2014. All three of her previous novels—Last Night in Montreal, The Singer's Gun, and The Lola Quartet—were Indie Next ...more