The Fairy Book Club discussion

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OCT 17 - Fahrenheit 451 > Station Eleven - optional read - discussion!

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message 1: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (cordeliareads) | 324 comments Mod
For those who are reading Station Eleven too!


message 2: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Moore (kamoorephoto) | 11 comments Yes, please!! This is the book I have and has been on my list for a while...


message 3: by Ninitha (Niko) (new)

Ninitha (Niko) | 40 comments Mod
I just got my hands on it. Will be starting soon!


message 4: by Gabby (new)

Gabby  Thorpe (diaryofabibliophagist) | 22 comments It's on its way, I'm very excited to get to discuss it ☺️


message 5: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (edylin) I am getting my copy today, woohoo!


message 6: by Gabby (new)

Gabby  Thorpe (diaryofabibliophagist) | 22 comments I've read nearly half of the book and so far I like it. At first I didn't really get the connections between characters and I was confused because I thought there was some other symbolism involved (e.g. The dog) but it's all starting to click into place now. The only thing that bothers me is I much prefer the pre-collapse storyline and I'm curious to know if I'm the only person who thinks this.


message 7: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 12 comments I'm just getting started, but really liked the pre-collapse storyline, as well. Just got to post-collapse, so sorry to hear it's not a preferable. Or maybe that's just our human nature resisting change?
More once I get farther along...


message 8: by Elsa (new)

Elsa Carrion (ecarrion) | 55 comments Pre- collapse was good but I prefer the after the collapse and how everything is fitting in place (e.g. The dog, Station Eleven, the paperweight). At first I was like why do we need to know about a paperweight or the name of the dog but she works it in the story so well. I feel like I found something super secret when I connect the dots.

LOL


message 9: by Gabby (new)

Gabby  Thorpe (diaryofabibliophagist) | 22 comments Elsa wrote: "Pre- collapse was good but I prefer the after the collapse and how everything is fitting in place (e.g. The dog, Station Eleven, the paperweight). At first I was like why do we need to know about a..."

I finished it this morning and actually like how the two fit together. I think I was quite attached to Miranda and liked how everything kind of resonates from her role in events even though she isn't directly related to the flu outbreak or the collapse. I think the book had a lot to say about relationships and regret and it's clever how Mandel writes about the collapse of society and the before and after without this actually being at the core. It just reminds you that even with the complete destruction of a civilisation, the world is an awfully small place.


message 10: by nil (new)

nil (nilnil) This book was recommended to me by a trusted friend so I immediately put it on my list and have been excited to read it since. However, I went into it completely blind beyond that. Let me tell you, I did NOT know what to expect, and I have been pleasantly surprised thus far! I am 35% of the way through the book and I initially appreciated the post-collapse portions of the book more but as the story continue to weave together I find it impossible to extricate one from the other. I love how the story is being laid out in the back and forth between pre- and post-. I also have found that I really relate to Miranda. Looking forward to getting further!


message 11: by Annemette (new)

Annemette | 28 comments I usually stay away from dystopian novels, I find them way to scary! (ghost stories and crime doesn't have the same effect, I don't mind those) but, even though I can hear my mind go 'what if...it could happen..', I am really enjoying the book. I think it is very well written and the way the stories fit together, is brilliant- I, too, feel like I discover a secret when realising why/how/who! I am 2/3rds through the book and still need some answers


message 12: by nil (new)

nil (nilnil) Annemette wrote: "I usually stay away from dystopian novels, I find them way to scary! (ghost stories and crime doesn't have the same effect, I don't mind those) but, even though I can hear my mind go 'what if...it ..."

I feel the same way about dystopian novels--they make me feel unbearably sad sometimes. There were moments in this book where I definitely cried just thinking about the unaccountable sadness of losing everything. The worst for me recently was reading Seveneves. Oy. I am looking forward to seeing what your thoughts are once you have finished it!


message 13: by nil (new)

nil (nilnil) Has anyone else finished this? Want to chat about it? :)


message 14: by Annemette (new)

Annemette | 28 comments I finished a few days ago and loved it. (Cried a few times and just wanted to hug my little son and really want to read something happy next time, but for a post apocalyptic book, I guess that's a good thing) how about you?


message 15: by nil (last edited Oct 29, 2017 07:49AM) (new)

nil (nilnil) Annemette wrote: "I finished a few days ago and loved it. (Cried a few times and just wanted to hug my little son and really want to read something happy next time, but for a post apocalyptic book, I guess that's a ..."

I definitely cried a few times, but I really loved the book. I felt that it was really realistic in just how long it would actually take for someone to figure out how to create a stable environment for something that we take for granted--i.e. electricity/basic machinery. At first I was flabbergasted, "Why has no one figured this out in 20 years?!?" But I think just the sheer fact of having to move around so much and the volatility of human interaction would make it very difficult.

It was also really hard for me to initially conceptualize what a 99% reduction of human life on the planet would actually look like. So I spent some time really thinking about what population density would look like with only 70 million people across every continent. I also spent some time thinking about how large urban areas were probably immediately wiped out because disease would spread so much faster due to population density. What about the station in Antarctica? Could they survive without ever even encountering the flu? Could they survive indefinite life on that continent?

I really appreciate that the book made me pause and think about things like that. I also really appreciated the writing in general. I loved how the narrative was told weaving together different pieces of the pre-collapse with the post-collapse so you could see how everything was interconnected and it slowly unfolded to reveal itself.

I also really like the device of the book within a book, so Station Eleven was really interesting to me! I really wish that I could see Miranda's illustrations! The way they were described sounded so captivating to me and I found that it was very easy for me to imagine what I thought they looked like (plus I just really love Pomeranians hehe).

And to top it all of, I thought that the end was actually very hopeful after a pretty grim look at post-apocalyptic life. I think that was really the crowning achievement of this book--it managed to be really dark and probably realistic (humans are particularly violent and destructive in times of immense tragedy and decline) but also show that people are also pretty good and creative and hardy. The electric city shining in the distance also reminded me of the recurring symbolism of the "shining city on a hill" which is generally invoked as a nationalistic symbol of righteousness and success. I think it worked very well here.


message 16: by Robin P (last edited Nov 06, 2017 09:59PM) (new)

Robin P I am another who generally avoids post-apocalyptic books because they are so grim. Although there are some scary things in this story, overall there is a lot about people working together and helping each other. There's also a theme of the arts - the importance of the comic book, and the troupe that brings Shakespeare and music to the people, "because survival is insufficient". I would say this is a very humanist book in that humans are in charge of their own fate and work to build a better world. There is nothing supernatural about it. Apparently the author didn't feel it should be classified as sci-fi because there is no futuristic technology. I was skeptical about whether I would like it but read it for a different book group and it was one of my favorite reads all year.


message 17: by Ninitha (Niko) (new)

Ninitha (Niko) | 40 comments Mod
I'm having such a hard time getting through this book. I'm about a hundred pages in and I am just not hooked. Been reading it since early October and still only barely into the book. Something else grabs my attention and off to the back this goes.


message 18: by Annemette (new)

Annemette | 28 comments Malobee wrote: "Annemette wrote: "I finished a few days ago and loved it. (Cried a few times and just wanted to hug my little son and really want to read something happy next time, but for a post apocalyptic book,..."

I, too, spend a lot of time trying to understand why no one 'just' started doing normal stuff like making electricity, shoes or medicine, but I think you are so right, I cannot imagine I woukd be able to function on a more than completely basic level if everything and everyone I knew was gone..


message 19: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte (timetoremember) I loved it - as a few of you have mentioned already, for the focus on the human impact, and of course the consistent emphasis on the arts and their enduring importance, even under such dire circumstances.

A key thing for me is that the surviving characters aren't all in possession of really useful survival-orientated skills - which I think is realistic, given the relatively small number that survived. If I had survived it, I wouldn't be able to make any normal things such as electricity or medicine, even knowing what I do about them, as my skills are in completely different areas. I love how that is reflected in it.


message 20: by Elsa (new)

Elsa Carrion (ecarrion) | 55 comments Finished it a while back. I'm one of those that like the post apocalyptic stories. Gets you thinking....are we ready for something like that and what can I do be prepared just a little.

I really enjoyed the story, no tears shed for me on this one, there was a few sad moments but tears refused to fall.


message 21: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (cordeliareads) | 324 comments Mod
Elsa wrote: "Finished it a while back. I'm one of those that like the post apocalyptic stories. Gets you thinking....are we ready for something like that and what can I do be prepared just a little.

I really ..."
I love that. "tears refused to fall"


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