Second Reflections – station eleven (Emily St. John Mandel)

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.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Emily St. John Mandel – Author

To buy the novel visit:

station eleven – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

21 thoughts on “Second Reflections – station eleven (Emily St. John Mandel)

    1. I am surprised by the mixed reviews only because it is an almost perfect read for me. But not everything works for everyone. I do tell people to try this one on the chance that they will love it. If it gets abandoned well c’est la vie. Thanks for liking me review matey!
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I liked the positive outlook in it too. The story grew on me, especially when I reflected on it after completing it. I’d love to reread it too. Thanks for that idea. It will be my next audiobook.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hooray! Glad to be of service. Love to spread the book love around. I hope yer second read will be as good as mine was. I am not sure what me next audio book will be. There are two that I want to reread that I can’t seem to get to work on me phone. So those if I can make them work. Otherwise it will be whatever looks like it will fit me mood and be available from the library on short notice! Arrr!
      x The Captain

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  2. The author DOES have a delightful name, but it can make it hard to find her books at the library. I always have to search under S for St. John, J for John, and M for Mandel in order to find the full complement of her work.

    Gosh, I so agree with you about how wonderful this book is. “Intricate” is the exact right word for it — I love how many moving parts there are to it, and how beautifully they all come together in the end. It’s quite a feat. (The Singer’s Gun is my other favorite of her books — it’s way way far behind Station Eleven in awesomeness, but it has a similarly intricate plot.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read anything else by her so yer recommendation is appreciated. As is yer warning about the libraries and finding her work. I do think it be hard when the first thing ye read by an author is practically perfect and to yer taste. It can make another work by the author feel less even though had ye read it first it would have been awesome. The Martian was a book like that. His second book wasn’t horrible but in comparison to the first, it made me slightly sad. Thank ye kindly for the comment.
      x The Captain

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    1. Yes the rereads on audio book are what got me started on them. It was a way to revisit a favourite story and not mess up the thing I was multi-tasking. It has been a delight. And I have branched out to listening to new books by audio too. I just have to be careful of which genres I pick. Glad to be of service.
      x The Captain

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  3. I feel like there must be something wrong with me because my experience with this book seems so lackluster compared to others. I have not even reviewed it yet because of this 😭 I did not dislike it, but it just did not do for me what it did for everyone else. What’s wrong with me Captain?..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a special book for me. I’m getting teary eyed just reading this post😭 I would love to do a reread too, maybe I’ll try to make that happen by the end of the year😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so wonderful and not as widely known as it should be. I do think I will be rereading this one every other year or so. I do recommend a reread. It was wonderful to get into the complexities of the story. Arrrr!
      x The Captain

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