Station Eleven has been on my ever-flourishing "seriously, you need to read this" list for a while now, and after delving into this enchanting story, I'm livid that I waited this long. Mandel's tale takes place twenty years after a flu epidemic has wiped out a majority of the world's population, where those left reside in small colonies inside abandoned buildings. Protagonist Kirsten is a member of The Traveling Symphony, a nomadic group committed to keeping art aflame in a world deprived of vibrancy. When they encounter one colony, though, with its own haunting prophet, the book takes an even more eerie tone. The story masterfully blends different perspectives, both from before and after the epidemic. Mandel's writing is addicting and bewitching, and I'm so glad I finally decided to cross it off my list.— Becky
September 2014 Indie Next List
“This is a harrowing and wonderful book -- blunt and elegant, wise and frightening, and utterly plausible at every turn. The characters are complicated, but their stories, short or long, are always deeply engaging. We -- our species -- always find ways, little by little, not just to survive but also to reestablish a sense of place, of community, and of compassion. Unsentimental yet deeply moving, Station Eleven is a terrific achievement.”
— John Christensen, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI
An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, from the author of three highly-acclaimed previous novels.
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time--from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains--this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.
Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.