Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

station-eleven-978144726897001

“What I mean to say is, the more you remember, the more you’ve lost.”

I’ve been having a bit of a binge on booktube videos lately, and the title of Station Eleven popped up a lot. I admit that I was mostly attracted by the cover, and also I’m a sucker for an apocalypse.

The night of the end of the World, celebrated actor, Arthur Leander is performing as King Lear in the play of the same name when he dies on stage, merely hours before a sudden and catastrophic pandemic wipes out most of the population of the Earth.

The story isn’t really about the apocalypse, or Arthur, but rather interestingly focuses more upon how people and society begin again when presented with a clean slate. Some use the disaster to build a new order, posting themselves in positions of power that in the old World could never have been theirs, while others seek to preserve the past to keep for future generations, even if they can’t comprehend any of it.

Maybe I’m just too fatalistic, but I love books like these and this one definitely deserves the hype that surrounds it. I intended to read King Lear before starting this book, as there are many references to it throughout the story and I feel my reading of Station Eleven would have been enhanced by having a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s work, but I couldn’t find my copy. Even so, the story was great, and I definitely plan to reread it one day.

5/5

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