Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (2014)
Station Eleven begins with a present day performance of King Lear, during which a famous Hollywood actor named Arthur Leander dies on stage. Leander’s death is quickly overshadowed by the onset of a flu pandemic, which wipes out almost all of the world’s population and completely shatters our modern way of living.
Two decades later, a young woman named Kirsten who was a child in the King Lear performance, has found a home in the Traveling Symphony, a small troupe of actors and musicians that travels between scattered villages.
Station Eleven jumps around in time to events before, during, and after the pandemic, telling the stories of many different people, all connected in some way through Arthur Leander.
After hearing so much praise for Station Eleven online, I knew I had to read it. I didn’t know much other than the fact that it was a post-apocalyptic book, so I wasn’t sure what to make of the initial King Lear part of the story. I was hooked when out of nowhere I read:
Of all of them there at the bar that night, the bartender was the one who survived the longest. He died three weeks later on the road out of the city.
Overall, I thought that Station Eleven was interesting and worth reading, but I’m not quite sure it lived up to all the hype I saw.
You might like this book if you like…
- Global epidemics
- Hollywood celebrity gossip
- Post-apocalyptic stories
- The Walking Dead
- Religious fanatics