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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven (2014)

by Emily St. John Mandel

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,4224651,203 (4.1)738
  1. 150
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (JenMDB)
  2. 151
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (sturlington)
  3. 110
    The Passage by Justin Cronin (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both books are inventive dystopian novels of a future after a pandemic collapses civilization.
  4. 100
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (JenMDB)
  5. 90
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (Rubbah)
    Rubbah: Both amazing books featuring dangerous flu like viruses and how people cope in emergency situations
  6. 70
    The Stand {1978} by Stephen King (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: An ensemble cast of flu survivors journey across the U.S. and through the remains of civilization to fulfill their fated roles in these novels. The Stand is more graphic and action-packed, with a clear theme of good vs. evil.
  7. 60
    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (benjclark)
  8. 71
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (dhoyt)
  9. 104
    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (generalkala)
    generalkala: Similar multi-strand, multi-era novel.
  10. 62
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (jmg12)
  11. 20
    Soft Apocalypse by Will Mcintosh (Meggle)
  12. 20
    Morality Play by Barry Unsworth (pitjrw)
    pitjrw: Muses on memory and the role of art specifically drama set respectively in the alien past and the horrific near future.
  13. 21
    Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins (BeckyJG)
  14. 21
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Dystopian North America with a strong female protagonist
  15. 21
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (johnxlibris)
  16. 10
    World Made By Hand by James Howard Kunstler (JenMDB)
  17. 10
    Player One: What Is to Become of Us by Douglas Coupland (Cecilturtle)
  18. 10
    Good Morning, Midnight: A Novel by Lily Brooks-Dalton (nicole_a_davis)
  19. 00
    The Amateurs by Liz Harmer (LDVoorberg)
    LDVoorberg: Both are dystopia
  20. 44
    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (Anonymous user)

(see all 21 recommendations)

Canada (47)

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» See also 738 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 462 (next | show all)
Loved this so much. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
This is a work of literary fiction set in a post-apocalyptic world, similar in style and quality to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. A virulent plague sweeps around the globe in a matter of weeks, killing 99.99% of the world population. The book presents a number of story threads, from before, during and after the societal collapse, as seen through the eyes of people whose only connection is a relationship with a world famous actor of the day.

Of course, it seems highly unlikely that with 99.99% of the world population dead, that a half dozen people with the same connection would not only survive, but actually interact in the distant future, but it IS fiction.

In any event, the story is engaging and the writing is excellent. It is relatively short and quickly read. ( )
  santhony | Nov 28, 2018 |
This was a beautiful novel that got better as it went along. It was mostly about people and life, with philosophical insights, which I really loved. ( )
  3njennn | Nov 25, 2018 |
This is the first time we have read anything by this author. This is a science-fiction book based on post-apocalyptic life. This is a genre we wouldn't normally read. That being said, this book had an interesting subject matter that captivated our attention.

The beginning of the book was captivating and drew us in. It begins with the fatal heart attack of Arthur Leander while performing on stage. Kirsten is a young girl, at the time, also performing in the play and witnesses his death.

Soon after, the world as we know it comes to an end caused by an epidemic of a deadly flu virus. But unfortunately, the book did not deliver. The horror of such an event possibly happening could not be felt in the writing. The tone of the story was too calm and didn't express the magnitude of what had happened.

From that point on the book began to jump back and forth between the present and before the epidemic and it was hard to connect to any of the characters or each scene of the story. We found ourselves becoming easily lost. As one member described it, "It was a choppy read and just didn't flow." But it does get you to think what would happen if 99% of the population was to be wiped out along with all the technology that we rely on today. Cell phone, computers, the internet, airplanes, cars, stores, electricity. The list goes on and on.

A lot of the book focused on theatre and music. Kristen is a member of the Traveling Symphony that risks their lives traveling from one settlement to another to bring the survivors the beauty of music. Something they felt was important and we understood that part of the book. But understanding the role of each character in the book and their connection to one another was sometimes confusing and trying to put the pieces together took away from staying focused on the storyline. The ending of the book left us with many unanswered questions and what the future holds for the new world. ( )
  tinahogangrant | Nov 24, 2018 |
What did I think of Station Eleven? What did I think of Station Eleven?? Well, I thought it was very well-written. I thought the interconnectedness of the characters was really interesting. I thought the New World was really intriguing. But what did I feel? Not a whole lot... I liked all the characters enough, Kirsten the most, but they didn't elicit a whole lot of emotion from me. This was, for me, a great story about how people adapt- how they react in the face of the unfathomable. This was, for me, a reflection on our world and everything we take for granted. This was, for me, an exploration of the idea that art defines us as a species. I liked it. The genre reader in me was bored but the lit fic reader in me was gobbling it up. I liked it. I didn't love it. But I can see why others did and I think it will grow on me. ( )
  EliseLaForge | Nov 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 462 (next | show all)
Station Eleven is not so much about apocalypse as about memory and loss, nostalgia and yearning; the effort of art to deepen our fleeting impressions of the world and bolster our solitude. Mandel evokes the weary feeling of life slipping away, for Arthur as an individual and then writ large upon the entire world.
added by zhejw | editThe Guardian, Justine Jordan (Sep 25, 2014)
Survival may indeed be insufficient, but does it follow that our love of art can save us? If “Station Eleven” reveals little insight into the effects of extreme terror and misery on humanity, it offers comfort and hope to those who believe, or want to believe, that doomsday can be survived, that in spite of everything people will remain good at heart, and that when they start building a new world they will want what was best about the old.
added by zhejw | editNew York Times, Sigrid Nunez (Sep 12, 2014)
Mandel’s solid writing and magnetic narrative make for a strong combination in what should be a breakout novel.
added by sturlington | editKirkus Reviews (Jun 17, 2014)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emily St. John Mandelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kuhn, WibkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The bright side of the planet moves toward darkness
And the cities are falling asleep, each in its hour,
And for me, now as then, it is too much.
There is too much world.
—Czeslaw Milosz
The Separate Notebooks
In Memory of Emilie Jacobson
First words
The king stood in a pool of blue light, unmoored. This was act 4 of King Lear, a winter night at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto.
Jeevan's understanding of disaster preparedness was based entirely on action movies, but on the other hand, he'd seen a lot of action movies.
There had always been a massive delicate infrastructure of people, all of them working unnoticed around us, and when people stop going to work, the entire operation grinds to a halt.
I was here for the end of electricity.
He would jettison everything that could possibly be thrown overboard, this weight of money and possessions, and in this casting off he'd be a lighter man.
We traveled so far and your friendship meant everything. It was very difficult, but there were moments of beauty. Everything ends. I am not afraid.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
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 performance 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 goodbyes, 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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One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production. Jeevan Chaudhary, 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 as life disintegrates outside. This novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.… (more)

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