Saturday, 28 March 2015

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

“Survival is insufficient.” 

Read: February 18-23, 2015

Rating: 3 Stars initially, upon review downgraded to 2.5 Stars

Initial Thoughts: Boring

Station Eleven tells two stories, woven together following characters impacted by the life and death of Arthur Leander – child actress Kirsten, paparazzo turned EMT Jeevan and ex-wife Miranda.  Arthur was a famous actor, suffers a fatal heart attack during a production of King Lear. Shortly after a terrible flu begins to spread, killing 99% of the population.  Arthur falls in and out of love, Jeevan watches helplessly as the world falls apart and 20 years in the future Kirsten is traveling between settlements with the Traveling Symphony performing Shakespeare for survivors.  

I am writing this book five weeks after reading this book and I am at a loss as to what to write. What I do know is that I am yet again the black sheep amongst my fellow Goodreaders and everyone who I watch on Booktuber. Many raved about this book and their glowing reviews bumped this book to the top of my TBR pile. I don’t understand the buzz. While everyone else has been raving about the hauntingly beautiful writing, for me this book was a struggle to get through and once I finished this book became unmemorable. I could not connect with any of these characters. They don’t really do anything and they are not contributing to a greater plot.  

While the premise of this novel was promising, post-apocalyptic traveling theater group, in this novel the plague is an afterthought. Instead the book focuses on a Hollywood actor and the people who came into his life. I want to know how the plague happened and why it happened, and while I realize that was not the purpose of this book, I still want to know.

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