Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on 2014-09-09
Genres: Action & Adventure, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Fiction, Literary, Science Fiction
Buy the Book • Goodreads
2014 National Book Award Finalist • A New York Times Bestseller
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 Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them. Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave. Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, 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.
Oh. My. Lord.
If I could give this a million stars, I would. This is, BY FAR, my favorite book that I have read this year. I literally could not read anything else (or rather, couldn’t finish anything else) for about 2 weeks. I kept calling it a “book hangover,” because that’s the only way that I could describe the feeling after. I had dreams about this book– I think I’m still having dreams about this book. It’s just… phenomenal, and so well written. I can see this becoming a classic— I NEED this to become a classic and a total best seller, because I need to talk about this with more people.
What I liked about the book:
- The “world” was created so well. With books like Divergent and Hunger Games, there’s always such a “dystopian” aspect to building a “fallen” world hundreds and hundreds of years after our “current” world has fallen. This “world” was created so realistically, without being dystopian, which was a nice change. It actually felt like it could happen, which was also a little frightening
- It wasn’t “romance” heavy. There were relationships (usually, more broken relationships than anything), but it was in no way a “romance” book, which was a nice break, because I feel like every book I’ve picked up lately centers around a romance, so this was a nice break.
- There were a ton of different story lines, which kept things really interesting, but they were pulled together so nicely. It was so wonderful how well they were woven in together. Amazing.
I really don’t have a single negative thing to say about the book, except that I’m sad that it’s over. I originally got this from my local library (support your libraries, folks!) but I instantly ordered the book for myself as soon as I was finished, so I had something to hand to people when I recommend it to them. Because I will be basically giving this to everyone. It was AWESOME.