Station Eleven

Station Eleven
Publisher
Age Range
16+
Release Date
January 01, 2014
ISBN
978-0804172448
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An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them. Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from Star Trek: "Because survival is insufficient." But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave. Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

User reviews

1 review
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0(1)
Characters
 
5.0(1)
Writing Style
 
4.0(1)
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Station Eleven
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
"Viola had a harrowing story about [...] walking alone for a hundred miles, whispering French to herself because all the horror in her life had transpired in English and she thought switching languages might save her."

This was the realest dystopia I've ever read. A pandemic might happen, even in the nearest future, and civilization, the way we know it, might end in a matter of mere days. People wouldn't know how to deal with it, there wouldn't be a Chosen One, everyone would find themselves equals in the face of illness, hunger, fear and death. All the characters in this book felt real. Their backstories, often intertwined, so melancholic and relatable. I actually preferred the chapters that dealt with the immediate public reaction after the illness spread worldwide, the way they tried to survive and organize themselves in little societies to hold the last remnants of their lives together was heartwrenching but the post pandemic ones were good as well, seeing how the littlest things that we give for granted in our everyday lives might one day be lost and might be found so fascinating by people who couldn't experience them first hand was elightening and made me feel slightly guilty of not appreciating them enough.

The last chapters almost made me burst into tears on the train. I should stop reading on public transports!
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