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Station eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
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Station eleven (edition 2014)

by Emily St. John Mandel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,197639785 (4.09)1 / 900
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding 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. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, 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.… (more)
Member:bobf32
Title:Station eleven
Authors:Emily St. John Mandel
Info:London : Picador, 2014.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work details

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

  1. 181
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (JenMDB)
  2. 120
    The Passage by Justin Cronin (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both books are inventive dystopian novels of a future after a pandemic collapses civilization.
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    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (JenMDB)
  4. 90
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (Rubbah)
    Rubbah: Both amazing books featuring dangerous flu like viruses and how people cope in emergency situations
  5. 92
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (jmg12)
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    The Stand 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.
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    generalkala: Similar multi-strand, multi-era novel.
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    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Dystopian North America with a strong female protagonist
  11. 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.
  12. 10
    Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton (nicole_a_davis)
  13. 21
    Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins (BeckyJG)
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    The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones (rainbowdragon)
    rainbowdragon: Dystopian novel that focuses on the people and their lives.
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    The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe (rainbowdragon)
    rainbowdragon: Dystopian series with fast spreading deadly flu viruses.
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    LDVoorberg: Both are dystopia
  18. 00
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (sturlington)
    sturlington: These are both interesting contemporary works of speculative fiction that play with time and structure.
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(see all 23 recommendations)

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» See also 900 mentions

English (630)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Chinese, traditional (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (638)
Showing 1-5 of 630 (next | show all)
***After reading***
I can see why people like this but I'm not a big fan of slice of life stories. And at it's heart this was that. Only in a somewhat unusual setting.

So I was bored. So bored. And that is a Me-Problem and not the because of the story. It just wasn't for me.

***before reading***
The amounts of times I was wondering if I should get the physical hardcover... Let's see what my thoughts are about the story.

I'm actually very curious to find out. I foresee 2 possible reactions. Either I'm bored or it will give me the warm and fuzzies. ( )
  Jonesy_now | Sep 24, 2021 |
This felt pretty much like a book specifically designed for me to like.

If the world is going to end, I hope the apocalypse leaves some music, some Shakespeare, and some hope. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. I was absolutely riveted throughout the entire book, despite the fact that I am not an avid science fiction reader. Everything feels like a miracle after reading this masterful book. ( )
  katethegreat44 | Sep 21, 2021 |
I loved the premise of this book. Station Eleven jumps back and forth between a time before the world was hit hard by a kind of super flu, and after the flu has torn across the Earth. It centers on actors (and an audience member) from a production of King Lear, as well as the people in their lives. As you make your way through the book, you find how connected all of these characters actually are.

The before focuses largely on the life of actor Arthur Leander, while the after focuses on an actress named Kirsten, who performs with a group dubbed The Traveling Symphony. There are a few other characters who enjoy the spotlight briefly within the book, including one of Arthur's ex-wives, his best friend, and the man who tried to resuscitate him on stage. While I'm not usually a fan of such a large group of narrators, they all bring new perspectives and information to the table which allow the reader to make connections throughout the book.

I don't think this was a perfect book, but it was a type of dystopian that I hadn't read before and beautifully fills a niche in the genre. There weren't children killing each other in arenas, or groups of people being separated by their abilities. It felt like a very honest portrayal of how humanity would try to get on in the aftermath of such a fatal virus. I think it played on a lot of common fears without jumping too far into science fiction. ( )
  CarleyShea | Sep 16, 2021 |
A cautious but thorough endorsement

I had to consider for quite awhile what rating i wanted to give this novel. The fact I had to think about it is, of course, its own sort of endorsement.

Let's start with some context. I am generally dubious of literary novels that try to reinvent the proverbial wheel when it comes to sff. This is something which happens a fair amount and is endlessly exasperating to prolific sff readers.

Reading through Station 11, I am still not entirely sure why some novels (eg Book of the Unnamed Midwife) are genre fiction while Station 11 or The Road get shelved as literary. They all carry, imo, a similar amount of depth and character exploration. BotUM probably has slightly better structure over all (again, subjective opinion here).

Nonetheless, however the book is shelved out in the wild, it was perfectly engaging to me and reads literary. The characters were well drawn and intriguing each onendrigen by a complex knot of motivations and experiences and each one clearly distinguished from the others. None were forgettable and there weren't, for me, any "ugh" points of view. (This is always a potential pitfall in multi pov.)

The relationship between those characters was complex and nuancex but at times stretchex believability. So many coincidences and so much delicate timing had to line up for certain events to occur in the way that they did. Still, stranger things have happened in real life, and part of the novel's themes is exploring the subtle network that runs between humans, and examining the ways in which we are all far more connected than we realise. So in that sense, perhaps the coincidences are themselves the point.

The other thing that made me waver in my rating was the fact that some of the storylines seemed to peter out. Mild spoilers: one of the main antagonists seems to fade abruptly from the storyline while one of the first pov characters from early on also seems to skirt most of the story. How much that bothers other readers will vary; i think i am probably being nitpicky, though.

The interweaving of the Station 11 comics was brilliantly done, though, and one of the main aspects which tipped me in favour of 5 stars instead of 4 was the overall hopefulness of the narrative. BotUM is extremely bleak and relentless in its portrayal of sexual violence; Station 11 handles such topics with deft redirection.

I suppose some readers will feel justified in saying that the violence and horror of a post apocalyptic world has been glossed over in their novel. But my counter is that we already have dozens of books which 'wax eloquent' on every facet of human misery. When it comes to novels which emphasise the possibility of rebirth, renewal, and healing, there are not so many in this genre. ( )
  Sunyidean | Sep 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 630 (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)
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emily St. John Mandelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chergé, Gérard deTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawkins, JackNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellner, StephanieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuhn, WibkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, KirstenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weintraub, AbbyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding 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. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, 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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Book description
Haiku summary
Pandémie mondiale
Symphonie Itinérante
Shakespeare et SF
(Tiercelin)

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Emily St. John Mandel is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

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