I’m quite a bit of an NPR fanatic (deriving from my time of convalescence after drunkenly slamming my head onto concrete and developing a concussion). That being said, when The Weekend Edition recommended “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel, I took it to heart. And what a recommendation.
With the precaution of not giving away too many spoilers, “Station Eleven” follows the lives of three characters captured during their respective timelines before, during, and after the Georgia flu (a pandemic) obliterates 99.6% of humanity. And in very particularly beautiful ways, all three unrelated characters are intertwined in some sort of way. I was attracted to the plot-line because it had specific elements I highly enjoy in novels: a dystopian touch, surrealism, storytelling, and most recently added to my list, a circus of some sort.
I must confess, it has been awhile since a book with plotlines of love, friendship, hardships, and raw humanity captured me. Despite the mounting piles of (actual) work I had, I could. Not. Put. This. Book. Down.
Even more so, before checking it out, a small review by Erin Morgenstern did it for me:
“Once in a very long while a book becomes a brand new old friend, a story you never knew you always wanted. Station Eleven is that rare find. Absolutely extraordinary.” ~author of “The Night Circus“
Without still giving away any spoilers, here’s an excerpt pre-apocalypse, on the current state of many that inhabit our world today:
“But anyways, I look around sometimes and I think– this will maybe sound weird– it’s like the corporate world’s full of ghosts. And actually, let me revise that, my parents are in academia so I’ve had front-row seats for that horror show, I know academia’s no different, so maybe a fairer way of putting this would be to say that adulthood full of ghosts.”
“I’m sorry, I’m not sure I quite–“
“I’m talking about these people who’ve ended up in one life instead of another and they are just so disappointed. Do you know what I mean? They’ve done what’s expected of them. They want to do something different but it’s impossible now, there’s a mortgage, kids, whatever, they’re trapped… high-functioning sleepwalkers, essentially.”
To summarize this review, do I recommend “Station Eleven?” Yes, yes, and YES!