Station Eleven: A novel

By Emily St. John Mandel
Publisher:Knopf, (9/9/2014)

Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.50 out of 5 (2 Clubie's ratings)

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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.
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Ceci's thoughts on "Station Eleven: A novel"
updated on:9/29/2014

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Again. This is our sixth time around the end-of-world in the BB Club House (see list at end – all recommended reads), and our BB sampling is just the tip of the iceberg. Does this end-of-days publishing zeitgeist suggest we all have some issues to work out? If so, I understand the collective need to face the fear. STATION ELEVEN lands in a summer full of ominous, real world events that provoked a chill I have never experienced before while reading this particular genre. The story circles around the essential elements of any classic disaster tale – that fine line between before “the end,” and after; learning who we really are; and figuring out what truly matters. What really won me over, though, is that the characters are completely normal people. No superheroes and no girl power (Kirsten, an exceptional knife thrower, does have a little). Just real people responding to incredible events. If anything does ever happen in our world, I hope I’m with someone like Jeevan, whose day-to-day anxiety disorder translates into an instant understanding of true catastrophe. Among other feats, he manages to transport, one at a time, on foot and in the snow, seven shopping carts of groceries from the store to his brother’s high-rise apartment - before most people even realize anything is wrong. STATION ELEVEN will make you sweat, but it may also give you some hope that you might survive an apocalypse . . . and, that you actually might want to. Other BB Book Club END OF WORLD reads: 1. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer 2. Lexicon by Max Barry 3. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker 4. The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta 5. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

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Book Junky's thoughts on "Station Eleven: A novel"
updated on:9/24/2014

Now this is a book that will make you think - I love that! I’m normally not a “post-apocalyptic” kinda girl, but this book just had a different feel to it. Really good writing. Interestingly woven together story lines and just tons of things to discuss. I found thoughts of the book kept coming to mind even though I finished it weeks ago. There is not only the content of the book to discuss; there is the “what would you be like? Where would you go? What would you do? Could you survive? IS survival insufficient? Would you kill to survive?” concepts to discuss; then there is the “how likely is this kind of situation?” question; plus the whole “does it make you appreciate your current life more and in what ways?” to contemplate; or, “how is the life in the book actually better in ways than life as we now know it?” Oh, and as far as content discussions go, be sure to bring up the, “are you a sleepwalker? and if so, what are you going to do about it?” because I actually think a lot of people should think about that. And finally, don’t forget to discuss the, “are you doing anything to prepare for such an event? If so, what?Or, can you even prepare for an event like that?” And, finally, don’t forget to bring up the “email gun” ha! love it! It’s a good read that will keep you thinking about it long after you are done read it!


"Station Eleven: A novel"
By Emily St. John Mandel

Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.50 out of 5 (2 Clubie's ratings)

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