Station Eleven

{4.5/5} “Arthur lives in a permanent state of disorientation like a low-grade fever, the question hanging over everything being How did I get from there to here? And there are moments — at parties in Toronto, in Los Angeles, in New York — when he’ll be telling people about Delano Island and he’ll notice a certain look on their faces, interested but a little incredulous, like he’s describing an upbringing on the surface of Mars.”

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, published in 2014

Twenty years after an epidemic wipes out most of humanity, a company of actors and musicians tour around performing in the towns they come across. At one town they’re expecting to find a couple of friends they left there 2 years ago, one who was about to have a baby. But the town has changed — their friends were gone and a prophet was in charge. They head out to find their friends but they’re going in a direction they haven’t been before.

It’s about actors and artists, some living in our society and some living in a post-apocalyptic society. The plot isn’t what’s brilliant about this book — it’s the ideas, the characters, and the beautiful writing.

In the before-the-epidemic sections, one character is writing and drawing a graphic novel called Station Eleven — she was inspired by the “Spaceman Spiff” segments of Calvin and Hobbes.

The actors and musicians have the phrase “Because survival is insufficient” written on one of their vehicles — the line is from Star Trek: Voyager.

I liked it a lot — it’s one of the more hopeful post-apocalyptic stories.

This is the first book by Mandel I’ve read.

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 19th, 2016 at 8:24 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Station Eleven”

  1. James Says:

    Glad you liked it, Dave!

    You should read this piece by Mandel about her book tour:

  2. Dave Switzer Says:

    Wow, I guess now I know why she hasn’t published another book yet.

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