Book Review: Station Eleven-Emily St. John Mandel

station 11Sometimes the best anecdote to a winter day, is a book that is even icier. I found myself nestled in a warm coffee shop with this book, yet could feel the frost lift off the pages with each turn. Without a doubt, Emily St. John Mandel knows how to create an experience within a novel which is exactly what Station Eleven is.

The novel opens up with a stage performance of one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, King Lear. Arthur Leander who plays Lear collapses and dies on stage during the performance. A practicing EMT Jeevan Chaudhary who is watching the show, comes to Leander’s aide, although it is much too late. Later the rumors of a epidemic called the Georgia Flu quickly become a reality that is swiftly erasing humanity. Readers experience the end of the world and the history of some the character’s lives. A novel about the loss of the mundane, yet it is the common everyday things we long for the most. The novel jumps in between different perspectives and times-past and the current apocalyptic future. The characters are very interesting, especially Arthur Leander’s constant spiral life. Mandel has an eloquent way of writing that is soft to the touch yet barring and truthful.

I’m not really a fan of post-apocalyptic reads, but I have to say Station Eleven did a fantastic job of remaining literary without getting too “sci-fi.”  The hype of this novel has been immense, and I can completely understand; this novel is truly innovative and creative. The writing is quite good, and I applaud Mandel for creating a literary, scientific, apocalypse novel. With all the hype and appraisal of the novel, I was expecting to be blown away, however, I wasn’t it. I didn’t find myself completely in love and quickly turning each page earnestly. I actually put this book down for a couple of days and returned to it feeling no loss of the novel. It was great novel, yes, and I would definately would recommend it, however it didn’t leave me with that “WOW!” factor I know it left some with.  This book is talked about everywhere, so I would say it’s definitely worthwhile to pick up! Enjoy and happy reading!

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