Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Emily St. John Mandel’s fourth novel, Station Eleven is a haunting and atmospheric read that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

This is a post-apocolytic story following the intricate lives of survivors and victims of a deadly virus that killed 99% of the world’s population in the space of a few weeks. A famous actor has a heart attack and dies on page one, shortly before the flu outbreak; a paparazzo turned paramedic is trying to find his place in the world; a woman who was only eight at the time of the collapse is now fully grown and struggles to remember electricity, and her parent’s faces; and the Travelling Symphony, a group of actors and musicians who travel the countryside of (what used to be) the United States, performing to the settlements that have formed since the collapse.

The story is mainly set 20 years after the collapse but deftly moves backward and forward in time to unfold the lives of the characters and their loved ones. This story is gripping, beautifully written and an original take on the dystopian, post-apolyptic genre. The tagline painted on the Travelling Symphony’s lead wagon is ‘Because survival is insufficient’, and that sums up the narrative of the book as well: it is not just about survival, like most novels of this genre, it is about memory and loss, fear and courage, community and anarchy, sorrow and hope.

I loved it.

Rating: 5 out of 5. I know it’s only September but I’m going to come out now and say it, this was my favourite book of 2019! And the hawt goss is in June this year the creator of ‘Maniac’ signed on to create a 10 episode limited series based on this book! *waits eagerly*



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