Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is a bold vision of a dystopian future, frighteningly real, perfect for fans of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty.
One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The world will never be the same again.
Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse. But then her newly hopeful world is threatened.
If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?
Book Review by Kelly Lacey
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
When I bought this book the only thing I knew was that it was about a pandemic. As we are living a real-life pandemic at the time of this book review. I really wanted something to read that was relatable. I wanted to be able to connect to characters and see what they experienced. What I didn’t expect was the carefully constructed path that would make me sit up and consider my own life and what is important to me.
The story is indeed about a pandemic that hits the world but we also get to see and learn about different characters. That old adage that we are all connected in some way, plays throughout the book. It was interesting connecting the dots and seeing the bonds. How one person’s artistic talents last long after the world collapses.
It was hard to imagine what it would have been like for the world to end as we know it and have to begin again. Then the past becomes like a fairy tale to those that weren’t there. Those were the parts I really enjoyed reading. Trying to explain aeroplanes and people addicted to small tiny screens called mobile phones to a new post-pandemic generation. It would all sound so far fetched. I loved the chapter of the house raiding, it reminded me of a scene from the tv show The Walking Dead. No zombie walkers in this book although there are some pretty awful human beings that you could call monsters.
The writing is beautiful and the book is easy to follow allow there seems to be so much to take in and learn. Emily St. John Mandel makes it effortless for the reader.
The book played like a movie in my mind and I had actors picked out for some of the characters. Albert Finney would my Arthur and Stanley Tucci would be my Clark. I struggled to think of who I wanted to be Kirsten she just didn’t have a famous face in my head. Maybe she was just so unique I couldn’t pick one. For Jeevan, I chose Dev Patel he would be absolutely perfect. Ben Foster was my Prophet and last but not least my Miranda was Tea Leoni. That was my full cast for the imaginary movie in my head.
The vulnerability is what is brought to the surface when you read this book. Take away all the luxuries we have in life and we are extremely vulnerable. No electric, no phones, no hot water or supermarkets for food. You can’t help reflect on your own life and suddenly you see how life rich we are and how we take it all for granted.
Right now with the pandemic across our own world, it is disgusting to see how some people are behaving the entitlement oozing from them and me, myself and I attitude that sadly so many people have. So many people have died from our own pandemic and it has made me realise how much I want to change my own life and be more here in the now, in this actual minute. Not waiting for special occasions or holidays etc to be happy. To say how I feel and express my emotions to the people that matter and life with no regrets
So back to Station Eleven and the feelings it brings to the surface. I needed this book in my life, it brought me back to my reading zone and it made me reset and realise I can only control certain things like how I act and how I feel.
Five huge stars for Station Eleven this book wasn’t just an adventure it was packed with life lessons and it will leave you searching your own soul.
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