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.
- It was a dystopian, post-apocalyptic book but from a whole new perspective. I haven’t really read anything in this genre that wasn’t young adult, so I loved the new aspect from the POV of adults.
- The story goes from before, during and after the epidemic, which I totally loved. I have always wanted to know how the apocalypse started and what it was like during the drama, so I was excited that this book showed that perspective.
- I loved the main characters, they were all so well done and each were very different. I think that Jeevan was my favorite, I loved his outlook on life and his desire to do something for the good.
- The writing was so well done. Emily’s style was so graceful, she had the most unique outlook on descriptive adjectives. When I read sentences I sometimes read them again and again because I never thought about describing something the way she did, but it totally made sense. I definitely want to go back and read more of her work.
- This book hits so many points that I think multiple readers can relate – it is dystopian, has nerdy Star Trek aspects, perfect for comic book lovers and readers of celebrity gossip magazines.
- I want more. I would love for this to turn into a series and see the progression of the rebirth of North America after the epidemic and what happens to the members of the Traveling Symphony.