Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end.

Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.

About the Author
Emily St. John Mandel is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award. A previous novel, The Singer's Gun, was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband.     
                                                                                                    Author's Website

1 comment:

  1. Complicated book, interesting plot, very little character development, interesting images such as the tattoos of knives or other weapons whenever a person kills someone, the chaos when the population dies quickly, different ways people survive, a lot is never explained (why do people live in gas stations and motels rather than abandoned houses? What did they use for money or barter?).

    Recurrent theme of "because survival is insufficient". That theme could be applied to people in any era or time. Probably deserves a 2nd read but I am not that interested because post apocalyptic fantasy is not my thing.

    Basically, the book, although it has the gripping premise of the destruction of civilization and most of the population, has little emotional impact. It is like reading a comic – Kristen’s Station Eleven was a graphic novel, one with little plot or text but great art – this has the same emotional impact.

    It will be interesting to learn what others thought - and to hear the author.