Genre: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction
Published: September 9, 2014 by: Knopf
Rating: All the stars in the universe
One winter night, esteemed actor Arthur Leander dies of a heart attack while on stage performing King Lear. A few hours later, the world as we know it begins to crumble as a deadly flu swipes over North America, killing everyone who comes into contact. 20 years later, The Travelling Symphony are a group of surviving actors and musicians who enter towns rebuilt after the apocalypse and perform Shakespeare plays. Kirsten Raymonde is one of those actors, and she longs to remember any ounce of her past life, including finding information about a famous actor who died moments before the flu started coming. Told in alternating storylines and time periods, Station Eleven weaves past and present in a extravagant story about love, fame, and isolation.
I am going to cry while writing this review. It seems like I always get a bit teary-eyed when talking about this book. This book was unlike anything, ANYTHING that I had read before. I'm not the hugest fan of literary fiction, but this didn't feel like that to me. It felt like a spellbinding story that was so expertly crafted that every page adds a new twist to the story. And the overall meaning of this book tore me to shreds.
St. John Mandel is such an expert writer. The way she ordered the events, connected characters to each other, and allowed for so much metaphor that was so easy to understand, is something that I aspire to be like. Every single time I read a chapter I just kept thinking about how badly I want to write like her someday. She's just so clever!!
I loved every single character in this book. Even the antagonist was so amazingly written and so well developed that you will at least connect completely with one character. There is absolutely no way for you to not feel for someone. St. John Mandel was able to capture every single character's backstories and all in under 350 pages.
There's pretty much nothing else I can really say about this book other than the fact that you have to experience it for yourself. It's science fiction without being too sciency, it's literary without being boring in the slightest, and guaranteed you will find something to love and respect about this novel. It's truly a work of art, and I'm so happy to have discovered it and experience it.
P.S. My sister, who hates reading more than anything, loved this book so if that isn't a reason to read it, idk what is.
Have you read Station Eleven? What did you think?
Emily @ Paperback Princess