Summary: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.
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains – this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.
Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
My rating: 5/5 Stars
When this book first came out and everyone was obsessing over it, I looked at the summary and though it didn’t seem like a bad book, it just didn’t interest me that much. I didn’t think that a book about the apocalypse could possible be something that I’d be interested in. I mean sure I love dystopian novels as much as the next person but postapocalyptic situations have never been my favorite take on that genreAnyway so I found this book at a charity store for a dollar and a couple of weeks later I picked it up on a whim and I fell in love. This book is amazing and it’s definitely one where you need to read it to really understand the hype. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend doing so even if the summary doesn’t necessarily drag you in. It’s a gem and definitely worth the read.
I’m not sure if I’m able to exactly pinpoint what it is that I love about this book. I think it’s the way Mendel develops the story and sets it up so you have parts that are set in the past before the plague hit and then you follow multiple people who exist in the wasteland after the disease has wiped out almost all of the earth’s population. It’s so weird and interesting to see the contrast between the two timelines and it makes for a very jarring experience. I also really loved the way that the setting was not a central focus of the novel and it was very much a character driven novel. I feel that oftentimes with books like these character development was sacrificed for a good plot but this book had amazing characters with a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Though many authors attempt to that, very few are good at it and I think that Mendel did a fantastic job of creating a balance between the two.
Honestly I think my favourite part of this book is how everything is connected somehow. You’re introduced to a lot of different storylines throughout the book and you don’t really understand how it’s all related at first but the more you read, the more it starts to click and everything starts to fit like a puzzle. Everything is connected in this really fascinating way that makes you look back at what you read and just be amazed at how Emily Saint John Mendel built all the storylines to connect. It was absolutely brilliant and it was so much to read.
This is just a small thing but I loved how it was partially set in Canada and the fact that the author is Canadian. As someone who lives in Canada I have a soft spot for anything Canadian related and I always love seeing Canadians authors become popular. It’s really nice to see because it always seem that the Americans get the spotlight.
Have You Read Station Eleven? Have You Ever Read a Book That You Didn’t Think You’d Enjoy But Ended Up Loving?