Review: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

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I read this book back in February and am only getting around to finishing up my review now. Bad, I know. I wanted to like it. I wanted to love it. I read reviews and saw people promoting it everywhere. Thing is, I’m just not a fan of the genre. The book begins with the end of the world. The georgia flu kills 99% of the population and changes everything about the world as we know it. The book swaps between the past and present, Kirsten (present) is touring the wasteland with a group of musicians and actors, bringing entertainment to scattered settlements, and Arthur Leander (past) is playing a part in King Lear on stage in Toronto. Well, he is at least until he has a heart attack and dies on stage.

The book’s main motto is “survival is insufficient” – a tattooed immortalized line from Star Trek. Of course the book has a prophet, there has to be some turmoil besides the survival of mankind. The characters are detailed and driven, and that was the one redeeming fact I found. Despite the fact that it was well written, detailed, colourful and depicted humanism in a very frank and lovely way – I just couldn’t get into this book. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t captivated by the story. I do not think this is at all the fault of the author, but some books we find interesting and others we simply don’t.

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