Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

December 11, 2014 Dystopian, Plague, Post-Apocalyptic Fiction 16

Good Morrow, Bookworms!

I’m feeling rather Shakespearean today, and it’s the fault of Emily St. John Mandel’s new (and awesome) novel, Station ElevenThere’s been a lot of buzz floating around about this book, but don’t believe the hype. Well, no. DO believe the hype. But believe it because I said so. (Shhhh, it makes me feel important.)

stationeleven Station Eleven explores a world twenty years after a flu pandemic knocks out 99% of the population of earth. It’s a little bit like The Stand (review), minus any supernatural elements or government conspiracies. It’s just good old fashioned viral mutation that wreaks havoc. It should freak you out a little, because it’s a totally plausible thing that could happen. (Shivers.)

When the proverbial shiznit hits the fan, it’s fascinating to see how the survivors react. Dude, 99% of the population is GONE. That’s EVERYONE you know, except maybe that weird cashier from the grocery store. So you go wandering. You’re searching for meaning, and probably company other than that weird cashier.

In Station Elevenone of the primary groups that forms is the Traveling Symphony. They wander through towns performing Shakespeare and classical music, because “survival is not enough.” Cool, right? An attempt to preserve art in the face of mass extinction? Heck yes.

Of course, not everybody goes around getting their Bard on. And some of the groups that have survived post apocalypse are less than savory. I don’t want to reveal too much because spoilers! But I will say that this book is an excellent, thought provoking read that will leave you pondering civilization, spirituality, and hand sanitizer. Go check it out!

I’m feeling deep, Bookworms. Do you feel that art helps keep civilization from self-destructing? 

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16 Responses to “Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel”

  1. Jancee

    I can’t wait to read this! One of your comments made me think about Fahrenheit 451, the group of shunned academics that memorizes and recites literature so it won’t be forgotten! I mean, in the event of an apocalypse, I would probably be the weird girl running around trying to save ALL the books.

  2. Megan M.

    It’s a shame that bookstores are closing all over the place, because in the event of an apocalypse I am definitely raiding the nearest one I can find. I do think art helps us appreciate life and find meaning from it, or at least ponder what it all means.

  3. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    Your “weird cashier” threw me right back to my days living in Dallas and my favorite monosyllabic, monotone, impeccably coiffed 7-Eleven cashier. I’m pretty sure he made skin lamps on the side. I would TOTALLY get stuck with that guy in the remaining 1%.

  4. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I always play this game on museum tours or like, the waiting room of the doctor’s office, where I imagine that everyone else in the world is dead except the small group of us. And what would happen then. I kept thinking about that game as I was reading Station Eleven — because yeah! It’d be that! So many people gone, and your choices for company become much much fewer!

  5. Jennine G.

    As many reviews as I’ve read on thhis book, everyone mentions something different that recatches my attention. Very encouraging to hear many sides of a book and all in the good.

  6. Sarah Says Read

    Ah, such a lovely book! I loved the “survival is not enough” theme. That is tattoo-worthy, right there.

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