Title: Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Published: September 9th, 2014
This book was definitely not what I was expecting. In this case, that turned out to be a good thing.
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.
Read the full synopsis here.
Usually, I give you guys a little more of a synopsis than that. However, this is a book that is very hard to capture in a few small paragraphs. The GoodReads synopsis that I had read did not do a good job at capturing the book. I somehow thought that there was going to be time travel. Spoiler Alert, there is no time travel. I’m just an idiot. Honestly, I think it’s better going in not knowing much.
This was my book club’s read for March. It was my friend Will’s pick and it was such a good one. What originally piqued my interest about the book was the idea of a traveling symphony in a post-apocalyptic world. What can I say, I’m a sucker for stories revolving musicians, artists, etc. However, this was so much more than that and I really enjoyed it. It was deep, funny, adventurous, and sometimes intense. The journey it takes you on is definitely something special.
One of the things that I especially loved was the world that Mandel created. What struck me the most was how realistic the setting of the novel was. The collapse was something that I could see happening in our world and reading about the effects was both interesting and scary. That being said, I was still wrapped up in it. As you experience the world our characters live in, you only want to learn more about it. There were multiple points in the story where I wanted another book telling me what happened to super tiny characters. The world was that interesting. It also made you realize how many small things we take for granted in our lives.
I also really enjoyed the six-degrees-of-separation aspect of the book. Throughout the book you follow multiple story lines and it was cool to see how the characters lives intersected. Also I loved seeing how much influence Arthur had on all of the featured characters.
There were only a few things I was disappointed by. Without getting into spoilers, I thought that Mandel could have handled a few characters story lines better. There were a few characters I would have liked to learn more about. Also, there was another character I wish she had tried to tie back in the end. I was sort of expecting something with the whole six-degrees-of-separation thing.
That aside, I really loved this book. It’s one of those books that you finish and you’re not quite sure how to feel. Then your brain processes what you’ve just read and things just pop out at you. There are parts that have really stuck with me and it’s a book that really makes you think. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes post apocalyptic stories. Also if I ever witness the end of the world, I hope I’m lucky enough to find myself in a traveling symphony.
P.S. I will list my friends’ rating of the book down below and link their GoodReads review (if they’ve written one) for you to see what they thought. We all pretty much felt the same way about this book though.