Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 2, 2015)
Reading Sara Rating: 7/10
Reading Sara Review: So many people have recommended Station Eleven to me since it was released originally in 2014. I kept putting off reading it because I wasn’t sure it was going to appeal to me. A story about a group of people, post-apocalypse, who travel around and perform Shakespeare plays? Really? If you have already read it, then you know how wrong I am. This book is more than science fiction, more than a post-apocalypse story, and is simply a good book.
I am glad that I finally got around to reading it – it’s an incredibly well-written story with many characters, exceptional depth, and more emotion than I could have imagined.
Station Eleven does revolve around a group called “the symphony” that travels to towns and settlements performing Shakespeare plays. There was a terrible disease outbreak that eliminated a vast majority of the world’s population (at least it wasn’t zombies). The book jumps in time, as the story centers around Arthur Leander, who was a famous actor and died suddenly of a heart attack while performing King Lear. The characters that we come to know all have a connection in some way to Arthur – and those connections are woven throughout the storyline.
The jumping around was hard to follow sometimes, and there were enough characters that I had to make an effort to remember who was who and who was where – but when everything came together at the end, it all made sense and was quite a surprise.
My favorite part of the story was following the survivor’s lives – how people survived, created communities, found a new role and purpose in their lives. But mainly how art is preserved after the fall of society – through storytelling, collections, and the performances that the symphony gave.
Station Eleven is not your average dystopian novel – it is so much more. So, if like me, you haven’t picked this one up yet, I recommend it. Many creative and beautiful books get picked up for a film adaptation, and this one is no exception. So, read it first!
“Survival is insufficient.” – Star Trek: Voyager