Thursday, 30 April 2015

Book Club #15 - Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

It's not a well-loved book until you spill coffee on the corner... 
Station Eleven is one of those books that you never top hearing about. It was getting praise and more praise, and I still didn't even own a copy. I'd stopped myself from buying it for a while thanks to my book buying ban and the TBR jar, but temptation got the better of me. Boy, am I glad it did! After a somewhat deflating previous read, I couldn't have picked a better book to get me gripped into reading again. Let's have a look at the blurb...
One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on sage whilst performing the role of a  lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The world will never be the same again. Twenty years later, Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse. But then her newly hopeful world is threatened. If civilisation was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it? 
You might have guessed that I'm a fan of dystopian novels, so clearly Station Eleven was right up my street. However, what I loved about this is that Mandel really went all out to create an interlocking and weaving web of connections. Arthur Leander died twenty years before the novel is set, but his role in the book is huge. You hear the first link to the character and think "oh yes, that's clever!" and then the next link is even better, and the next one... 

Station Eleven has had some excellent feedback, and rightly so. If you're not into dystopian novels, I would still give this a read, as it's not too unbelievable. We hear reports every day that we're using up all the fossil fuels, and greenhouse gases are ruining the earth's atmosphere so the 'future' in the novel could one day be likely. It's a scary thought, of course, and I doubt we'd all band together to perform Shakespeare in the desert, but why not? Ey?  

Chelsea xo

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