Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


4 disco balls

Published: September 9, 2014 by Knopf
Category: Sci-fi, Dystopian
Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel (2015); PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominee (2015); Sunburst Award Nominee for Adult (2015); John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominee for Best Science Fiction Novel (2015); British Fantasy Award Nominee for August Derleth Award (best horror novel) (2015); The Rooster – The Morning News Tournament of Books (2015); NAIBA Book of the Year for Fiction (2015); Toronto Book Award Nominee (2015); The Great Michigan Read (2015); Women’s Prize for Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2015); Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Fiction (2015); National Book Award Finalist for Fiction (2014); Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction (2014)

In this intricate, elegantly woven tale, the fate of five people at the end of civilization will connect in such a delicate, yet powerful way; some of them not ever meeting each other.

The setting starts the morning before the collapse of mankind: it will be said only 1% of the population will have survived. The years will start back to 0, as well as all the advances that were known to man. No more electricity, no more running water. It is said that those who have known the world pre and post collapse are most affected as they remember what it used to be like.

What remained? Art and music: a comic book, a traveling symphony, Shakespeare. Instead of playing the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, it would be Six Degrees of Arthur Leander. The man who longed to escape the private island he originated, will yearn for that privacy for the rest of his life (although he may fool you and himself otherwise). His life will impact each of our five characters greatly.

How I felt while reading it:

What comes to mind is “slow and steady wins the race.” The writing is methodical and elegant, it may seem to be slowly moving along but I had this underlining feeling I was in the middle of the creep up behind you build up. I am so glad I went out of my reading comfort zone and picked up this book!

It was so profound that I know I must have missed some meaning or message within some of the stories. Or, I was looking way too hard and the answer was right where it was supposed to be. I actually loved that about this book. I am certain I will have a few a-ha moments long after finishing.

Also, to the woman who was sneezing on the Path train when I first started reading this book: I am sorry for the horrified look I gave you. You see, I was reading this book where everyone gets sick and I became hypersensitive to every sneeze and cough around me thinking you may be Patient Zero. Hope you feel better.

Have you read ‘Station Eleven’ or a book that evoked the same feeling?


Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

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23 thoughts on “Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

  1. This is a book that has been languishing on my bookshelf for ages. I will probably need someone to explain it all to me after I’ve read it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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