Tournament of Books discussion

Station Eleven
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2020 Super-Rooster Books > Station Eleven

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1687 comments location to discuss Tournament of Rooster Winners book: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


Risa (risa116) | 164 comments L-O-V-E, love, love, LOVE. The humanity of this book really captured my heart. This is one of those novels that I feel comfortable recommending to a wide range of readers because it has so many sources of appeal.

Call me sentimental, but I'm a sucker for a novel that ends on a note of hope. After all the loss and sadness that you get in any dystopian novel, and that is in ample evidence in this one, Mandel manages to stick a hopeful landing. I can still remember the immenseness of the gratitude I felt when I turned the last page. When I think about this book today, my heart remains full.


message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1687 comments I’ve owned this one for-ever and just not got around to it so I made it next month’s IRL bookclub selection - looking forward to the discussion!


Risa (risa116) | 164 comments Amy wrote: "I’ve owned this one for-ever and just not got around to it so I made it next month’s IRL bookclub selection - looking forward to the discussion!"

Please let us know what you and your book club think of it!


Katherine (katsikes) This is in my top ten favorites.
Time for a re-read, I think!


message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 6 comments Loved this book!


Ellen H | 764 comments Liked it a lot. I was surprised but pleased when it won the Rooster.


message 8: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Harvey Butler | 19 comments I love Station Eleven so much. It is my favorite of the Rooster winners that I have read. I'm at 7, so I need to get busy reading the rest of them!


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 624 comments I can't fully express my disdain of this book. I have read buckets of post-apocalyptic novels and this one is tropey but without the realism that makes the other novels so engaging. I was bored, except for of the story about the man at the beginning. A lot of people seemed to like it because it was optimistic, but to me that ruins the potential.

I'm happy to be the negative nelly outlier for this novel.


Daniel Sevitt | 81 comments It's a lovely book. It's the kind of book that i can lend to any kind of reader. I don't think it's the best book of all the Roosters, but I loved it and I understand why other people did too.


message 11: by Bob (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bob Lopez | 371 comments I think I'm going to re-read all the winners--I gave this 3 stars back in the day, and my chief complaint was that the book was too inward looking, and not plotty enough. I wonder how much my tastes have changed in the 5 years since I read it. I can't imagine they've changed much (I was 37 then), but you never know.


message 12: by Drew (new) - rated it 5 stars

Drew (drewlynn) | 421 comments I had the opportunity to re-read this in preparation for a reading by ESJM last fall and also to congratulate her on taking home the Rooster! I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. One of my favorite things about the book was the descriptions of places abandoned by humans but I also loved that music and Shakespeare were being kept alive.


Michael (grebmar) Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "I can't fully express my disdain of this book. I have read buckets of post-apocalyptic novels and this one is tropey but without the realism that makes the other novels so engaging. I was bored, ex..."

I didn't hate it but I see where you are coming from. I thought the villain was cartoonishly simplistic, and the weird graphic novel did nothing to inform the narrative, and the characters fit together in a sort of desperate necessity-of-plot way. And now that I think about it, I recall the main message was kind of that the world ended when that asshole actor died, which is kind of, you know, good for him to have that much power? But - really?

I might re-read but it's low on my list, tbh.


message 14: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1687 comments Reading for the first time now and it’s charming me though I can’t quite put my finger on why. At least a small part is that I always love seeing depictions of chosen families that equally love and annoy each other (my favorite part of Love in the Time of Cholera was the old couple passive-aggressively warring over the noise in the morning/soap in the bathroom - once he dies the book was no longer interesting to me!) so the Troupe pushes that button for me.


message 15: by Diane (last edited Apr 08, 2019 06:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane (diane_g) | 9 comments I just finished reading SE for the first time and I quite liked it (I say that after giving it 5 stars and a fairly nice review). I don't trust my judgement on this one. It really was one of those stories I was bound to love as it was written to perfectly appeal to me - dystopia + Shakespeare! But, it felt like too easy a read for me to like it as much as I did. Does the ability to write accessible fiction make it not-excellent? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


message 16: by lark (new) - rated it 3 stars

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 112 comments Diane wrote: "I just finished reading SE for the first time and I quite liked it (I say that after giving it 5 stars and a fairly nice review). I don't trust my judgement on this one. It really was one of those ..."

You know Diane I'm thinking there are some books that just strike the right tone even if they are relatively light in theme--and for a total apocalypse I did think that this novel somehow stayed light. What made it a good read for me was the characters and their relationships, and the care the author took to make these people three-dimensional and flawed. I really liked Jeevan. I really liked Kirsten. The book reminded me not of other apocalypse novels but rather of a book like Three Junes by Julia Glass (which i adored) because it's about people and the other stuff is kind of unimportant.


message 17: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Arnold | 817 comments I just remember feeling so engaged throughout, it was a fun read, even though it wasn't one that made me think very deeply. I did love how it helped me appreciate the wonders of everyday life, how even simple things can be appreciated, and I loved how humanity went on even after everything else was gone. I thought the shifts from current story to backstory were seamless and so well done...As each section ended I'd be excited to see where she'd take us next.

It wasn't realistic, but it wasn't really trying to be, so that didn't bother me at all. (I did think the prophet guy was very cartoonish, though, and it would have been a better story without him.)


message 18: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1687 comments Just finished for the first time and definitely liked it a lot though it’s not one of my all time favorites (though maybe all-time post-apocalypse favorite?)
I’m with Lark that I loved the characters and it felt pretty light most of the time. I’ve mentioned the found family interactions I enjoyed quite a bit but I also wanted to throw out some appreciation for the consideration of holding onto the past (“what was lost”) vs moving on that occurred with frequency especially in Kirsten’s conversations.
Meanwhile, I actually found the prophet figure very believable but perhaps because I’ve just seen too many organizations that become cults or cult-like and think there are a lot of people looking for self-righteousness, absolutes, and something to provide some measure of control in our world - all of whom would follow such a person. There are also plenty of people right now who are only bound by the rules of civilization for what they practice or encourage in others (e.g. death for certain ‘moral’ disagreements, violence against those who are perceived as ‘taking what is rightfully ours,’ exile for those who don’t follow traditional roles etc).


message 19: by lark (new) - rated it 3 stars

lark benobi (larkbenobi) | 112 comments You know, I credit Station Eleven with making me a big reader of contemporary fiction, not because I loved it in particular, but because it made such a big splash, and yet it felt so safe to me.

That made me want to really go out there and see for myself what other kinds of contemporary fiction was being written, stuff that wasn't getting reviewed or noticed at all.

The TOB longlist was also very inspiring as a way to get me more adventurous.


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