Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

A book review

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Once in a while you encounter a book that makes you think. Sucks you into it's words and touch your soul and makes you consider the questions of life. Such was a book last year with A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. This year, it was Station Eleven, as of now. Who knows by the end of the year. But this is a book which makes you think about what it means to reach immortality in a dying world.

The story is about a traveling group of artists and a strange dangerous sect 20 years after the Apocalypse. Traveling from settlements to settlements, the Traveling Symphony brings a bit of color and music to those who live still in darkness and survival mode. Their quest leads them to recover one of their own and with it, the recovery of hope.


“But these thoughts broke apart in his head and were replaced by strange fragments: This is my soul and the world unwinding, this is my heart in the still winter air. Finally whispering the same two words over and over: “Keep walking. Keep walking. Keep walking.”

The story floats around before, during and after the Apocalypse hits. All characters are amazingly developed, with their own back stories and their own connections. Each one entangled in the history of the other, in each others own immortality. Jeevan, the contributor, the link between Arthur, Kirsten and Miranda. Kirsten the one who remembers them. Arthur, the one who will be forever immortalize in Kirsten's thoughts. And Miranda, in Kirsten's surviving books.

This novel's style can be comparable to The Clock Bones by David Mitchell. Where time flows from character to character and makes you want to know more. The words make you reflect on what you have, what you built, and what you will leave when all else is gone. And it will make you feel grateful for how far we've come as a species. My favorite part of the book was during the 'airport' chapter. It made me almost cry about how much we take for granted until it's all gone.

“I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.”

Thank you Emily for writing such a beautiful story.

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