Ahoy there me mateys! While drawin’ up me lists of 2016 for me log, I realized a curious thing – out of 134 books read, not a single one was a re-read. In me enthusiasm of discovery and taking suggestions from me crew, I did not revisit a single old port for plunder! And part of what I love about readin’ is re-visitin’ old friends. So I decided to remedy that and thus created this category where I take a second look at a previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it were, upon visitin’ it again . . .
station eleven (Emily St. John Mandel
Oh me hearties! This book is so utterly mesmerizing, beautiful, and stunningly written. I knew this but listening to it in audio book format was a complete delight. I fell in love all over again. I can say without a doubt that this is one of the best post-apocalyptic books I have ever read. One of the best books period. What struck me in this second read is how intricately intertwined the characters are and how the shifts in time and place are seamlessly done.
For those that haven’t read this book (go get it now!), the basic premise is that the known world has collapsed from a virulent strain of flu. The surviving people are flung far and wide in varied settlements that each have their own rules and standards. Amenities like internet, reliable medicine, or electrical power are non-existent. Travel is hazardous but among those that dare are a travelling caravan that trades its artistic talent. Like touring troupes of ole, these performers play symphonic pieces and recite Shakespeare.
Of course being the theatre lover that I am, me favourite character continues to be Kirsten, a member of the acting troupe. I loved how ye are shown her various stages of life. In general I found all the characters to be interesting. What is also interesting in how this book feels so positive in overall outlook even though bad things often happen. This book is way more complicated then I have made it seem. I don’t have the vocabulary to explain further and don’t want to spoil it. But I will be readin’ this again in the future. If yer past doesn’t include having read this tale then I suggest ye add it into yer future reading!
Side note: Doesn’t the author have a delightfully delicious name? Arrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
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 Traveling 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.
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