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Station Eleven

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  434,493 ratings  ·  49,775 reviews
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 Raymo
Kindle Edition, 354 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Vintage
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Dead John Williams I know this is late but I have just finished Station Eleven and I am intrigued by your question because of what it assumes.

You have to feed yourself e…more
I know this is late but I have just finished Station Eleven and I am intrigued by your question because of what it assumes.

You have to feed yourself every day. Without the modern world how you go about that? You have no refrigeration so you have to gather food regularly. How will you maintain your energy intake? If you fail to feed yourself for 3 days in a row but have used energy trying you will be feeling physically drained and your thinking may not be altogether rational. Your failing physical resources make it more likely that you will fail to feed yourself again. If you haven't eaten in 7 days you will be so weak that you will probably not be able to gather food again. Grass and bark will not keep you alive.

Whilst all this is going on you will need to protect yourself, not get injured or wounded or otherwise infected. You will need to source clean water, one bout of dysentery and it is pretty much all over for you (or any of us).

Assuming that you manage to do all this and find a library and have time to read, would you have the skills to make or assemble the relevant parts? Would you know where to find the relevant parts? No power tools. Would you evaluate the risk of spending time reading when you cannot guarantee and food supply or even your own safety?

I am very skilled in the technical areas required for solar or other energry sources but could I feed myself? I'm not sure that I could. Could I find someone to feed me while I produce electricity? or even anyone who saw the use of that? What would you do with electricity that would be worth the effort and risk?

Just my thoughts and thanks for sparking such a good thread(less)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  434,493 ratings  ·  49,775 reviews

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Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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. Heartbroken
Maggie Stiefvater
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, recommended
I don't know if you will like this book.

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 les
Rick Riordan
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adult speculative fiction

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
Jeffrey Keeten
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
”Hell is the absence of the people you long for.”

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, liv
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“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.

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Station Eleven begins with the story of Arthur, who passes away on stage while performing
Of all of them there at the bar that night, the bartender was the one who survived the longest. He died three weeks later on the road out of the city.

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 that'
Apr 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For me, Station Eleven falls squarely into the category of extremely dull books that seem to be highly-rated by everyone else.

The premise totally intrigued me. You put words like pandemic and apocalyptic times together with the promise of a civilization having fallen into chaos and ruin, and I sign up every time. I honestly can't resist. But it turns out that was the only interesting thing about this book, I'm sorry to report.

First, the whole story is told in nonlinear format, jumping around tim
chai ♡
Edit: Amidst the coronavirus panic, this book now hits different 😬

This book lay undisturbed on my shelf for years, and now that I have finally read it, I only feel the sort of heaviness that comes from wanting something for so long that the eventual achievement of it is a loss.

There are many things this book does well, and I was conscious throughout that I was reading a story that, for all intents and purposes, should have sung to me. But in the end, I'm not sure that Station Eleven was the book
Violet wells
I wanted and expected to enjoy this novel more than I did. There’s much that’s gripping and clever but it was spoiled for me by a sloppiness in its construction, most notably an excess of half-baked and obfuscating characters. Was this novel rushed to cash in on the Hunger Games pandemic? At times it comes across as a novel written with heart but equally it can seem sketchy and only half imagined. Also should be said that it karaokes most other successful dystopian novels of recent times, most o ...more
Mark Lawrence
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Station Eleven is a work of literary fiction. The fact that half of it is set in a post apocalyptic future doesn't change this.

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
This book is so beautiful.

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 person
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Until I someday write a longer review (you never know, it could happen), I’ll just say this: I sat down intending to read about 50 pages tonight and wound up reading 200. I also completely forgot the world around me existed for a few hours, and that is the highest praise I can personally give any book.
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story about the resilience of people.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why it bothers me so that I thought this book was just ok. So many of my GR friends have embraced this Station Eleven and have shouted its praises from the rooftop. I struggled through the first 80 pages, didn't want to throw it under the couch, but wasn't finding myself engaged. Perhaps I should have quit while I was ahead but stubborn that I am, I carried on. It never really got better for me but I did finish. At least I won't feel left out.

Shakespeare is dead and I prefer him to
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book a lot, especially as it is different than other dystopia novels that I’ve read.

The most interesting fact about the book is the non-linear structure. It starts with the death of a famous actor while playing King Lear in a Toronto theater. In the same night, the end of the world comes, this time disguised as a flu that wipes out 99% of human population.

The next part introduces us to the Symphony, a traveling theater company that plays Shakespeare in the remaining human settle
Always Pouting
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so good, I started reading it at like 11 pm the other night because I just wanted to read a little before going to sleep and ended up staying up until 6 am to finish it. I really like the way the story unfolds and the way everything is connected, I'm a sucker for threads coming together in a story and like following characters who come into contact with on another and how their different story lines end up. Not sure about that ending though, but I guess I also tend to not find most endi ...more
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprised by how much I enjoyed this book because I am a bit burnt out on post apocalyptic fiction. Well written, intricately plotted. The ending falters a bit, awash in an overreach for poignancy. I know how I definitely don't want to die and that is on a quarantined airplane on a tarmac in Northern Michigan, with a bunch of other plague-ridden folk. Stuff of nightmares. Also, I struggled to believe there would be a major international airport with three concourses in northern Michigan. I've li ...more
Leonard Gaya
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Station Eleven is a rather difficult book to shelve in a given genre. It’s been marketed as post-apocalyptic science fiction (which it is!). Still, it doesn’t have the feel of a disaster novel: the cause of the fall of human civilisation as it is is an invisible one (a deadly pandemic), and the consequences are described from afar — far in the future, far in the distance, in the fantastic chapters that take place in a remote airport. St. John Mandel’s book does, however, bear some resemblance to ...more
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An eclectic, always wondrous literary feast, with a generous dispersal of savory anecdotes, attitudes & (grand) themes. It has all the BEST features of previous apocalyterature & road stories (the pale terror of McCarthy's "The Road", the joie de vivre/bonhomie of the band of outsiders in "The Wizard of Oz," the irresistible speed & power of "Mad Max: Fury Road")-- it all adds up to something as interesting & bizarre as David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas."

"Station Eleven" is a novel that's so full of
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An exceptionally well rendered portrait of Elvis on a magnificent black velvet background.

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, m
Aug 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To survive is painful.

So is trying to get through this book! There has been a ton of hype surrounding Station Eleven and nothing but rave reviews. Someone please explain it to me because I just don’t get it. I wish, I had embarked on the same journey as those readers, but it was like slow torture instead. Boring beyond belief, with a cast of unlikeable characters and a plot that was all over the place.

I wasn't impressed with the author's writing either, as most people seem to be. The only t
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Milestone achieved = Review #200 within one year six months of joining Goodreads!

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 w
Lisa of Troy
Oct 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can Emily St. John Mandel Predict The Future?

Station Eleven was published in 2014 (long before coronavirus), but it is about a pandemic. In Station Eleven, there is a deadly Georgia Flu which devastates the world’s population and results in a global collapse.

What’s not to love? Station Eleven is set in Michigan, and I have a lot of love for my Mitten State.

This book is absolutely eerie to know that it was published in 2014, but so many of the things mentioned in the book actually happened in re
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s no accident that Emily St. John Mandel opens her haunting new novel with a scene from King Lear, who ends up mad and blind but clear as a bell. One of that play’s memorable lines is: “The oldest hath borne most; we that are young/Shall never see so much nor live so long.”

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 majorit
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was a lovely, elevated apocalypse story that was very touching. The integration of acting and Hollywood world was really interesting, I'm sure even moreso to someone who isn't in "the biz." If you want a dose of great storytelling with your post-disaster wasteland fiction, this is a book for you! ...more
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”What’s going on?”
“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
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one well written apocalypse.

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 pos
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I loved this book - I’ve bought it on Kindle just so I have it for my own Desert Island Keepers collection. :) 4.5 stars.

I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.

Dr. Eleven stands on dark rocks overlooking an indigo sea at twilight. Small boats move between islands, wind turbines spinning on the horizon. He holds his fedora in his hand. A small white animal stands by his side.
On Station Eleven's surface it is always sunset or twilight or night.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘we travelled so far and your friendship meant everything. it was very difficult, but there were moments of beauty. everything ends. i am not afraid.’

wow wow wow. this book. this is quite unlike any other post-apocalyptic story i have ever read before. this doesnt focus on the flu that eradicated 99% of earths population. this doesnt go into detail about the origin of the disease or the worldwide attempt to contain it. the purpose of the book isnt to explore the collapse of the world as we
Angela M (On a little break)
It was called the collapse, what happened after so many people died of the flu and society as they knew it no longer existed. This is the story of some of the survivors but through alternating narratives, it is also the story of some of the people who didn't survive and how several of the main characters are connected to a man who died before the pandemic.

In books with the past and present narrative , I almost always like the past stories more . This was not the case for me here. It was importan
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Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York.

She is the author of five novels, including The Glass Hotel (spring 2020) and Station Eleven (2014.) Station Eleven was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Aw

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What makes a book a hit in the publishing industry? There’s no standard, really. Depending on your point of view, various commercial and...
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“Hell is the absence of the people you long for.” 1220 likes
“Survival is insufficient.” 768 likes
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