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review 2019-04-11 17:39
Station Eleven
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven is a book that meanders back and forth through time, providing clues to how each character is linked to the others in the post-apocalyptic world after the rapid and devastating spread of the Georgia Flu. The connections are hinted at and foreshadowed long before many of them are explicitly detailed, and it was good fun piecing the little snippets, all seemingly casual and inconspicuous, together.

This was a beautifully written book, definitely driven more by character than by the plot. St. John Mandel has a nice style; although the use of colons did become noticeable it didn’t quite manage to be intrusive.The writing was engaging with, for me, just the right amount of drifting tangents to concrete story. Having said that, I’m still conflicted on how I feel about the book overall. I enjoy character-driven books, apart from one thing. They have a tendency to just stop with no obvious conclusion as a more plot driven book would. The ending sentences of Station Eleven left me feeling quite disappointed and somewhat like I’d walked face first into a brick wall. There was still potential, as if the book I’d just read was some sort of extended prologue all intended to build up to the possibilities hinted at in the final moments.

Despite this, I’d still recommend the book and search out more of Emily St. John Mandel’s writing.

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review 2018-10-06 13:22
Station Eleven ★★☆☆☆
Station Eleven: A novel - Emily St. John Mandel

I can see why some would really love this book. It’s well written in terms of the prose and it is one of those books that has Things to Say. I could not love it, though. This is a post-apocalyptic story that spends the majority of its time looking back to its characters’ lives and the world as it was pre-apocalypse. Or, in other words, to society as it is today. It is a book about Now, set in a future world and society that should be infinitely more interesting.

 

Worse, it failed to engage my emotions in any of the gazillion characters introduced. They went places, and did things, and felt feelings, and I didn’t care about any of them.

 

And worst of all, this was an unsatisfyingly implausible post-apocalyptic world. The few explanations of how it works just seem implausible. Over 300 people gathered to create a new society in an airport. How did they sustain themselves after all the airport snacks and restaurants ran out of food? They hunted for apparently plentiful deer in a nearby forest. With an NSA handgun and apparently giant stockpile of bullets. After that? Who knows. The story is more interested in how they created a school to teach their children, not about life skills needed to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, but about how you used to be able to push a button and talk to someone on the other side of the world, or about how you could fly in planes. Characters spend all their time talking about the lost internet and all the information lost to them with it. Hello, people, have you heard of books? They apparently only read gossip magazines. And so on.

 

 

Audiobook, via Audible. Excellent performance by Kirsten Potter. I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Doomsday: anything related to the end of the world, doomsday cults, or a post-apocalypse world.

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text 2018-10-05 12:15
Station Eleven - 58%
Station Eleven: A novel - Emily St. John Mandel

Starting to get tedious, but not so much that I'd DNF at this point. Why is it that the characters in a postapocalyptic world spend more time in pointless recollections of the old world, bemoaning the lack of internet for looking up information, than on actual survival planning or basic life skills? I know there's been a move toward electronic media, but print books do still exist. They break into stores and homes but spend time looking at people's clothes and toys and never even mention looking for books on gardening or mechanics or well-digging or whatever. 

 

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text 2018-10-04 14:49
Station Eleven - 20%
Station Eleven: A novel - Emily St. John Mandel

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that when a resident of a small town whispers to you that a prophet has taken over and you'd better stop asking questions and leave ASAP, then you'd better run away fast.

 

Except in books, where otherwise sensible people just keep hanging around and asking questions. 

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text 2018-10-03 14:08
Station Eleven - 10%
Station Eleven: A novel - Emily St. John Mandel

This is off to a really good start. I hope I can keep up with it on audio. Supposedly the timeline jumps around a lot - not an ideal pick for audio, but this was on sale, so..

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