Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Rating: 4/5


Much has been written about the world after an apocalyptic event. Everyone from Orwell, to Huxley, to Collins, to Atwood has weighed in. And yet Mandel manages to create something new.

Love in the Time of Global Warning by Francesca Lia Block

The book feels a bit like Francesca Lia Block’s Love in the Time of Global Warming, only all grown up. It’s hard to decide if this is due to the similarity of the subject matter (a traveling band of young people after the collapse of the modern world) or if it is more that their writing is similar.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

It also feels like the Maddam trilogy, but in a lot of ways is less infuriating. Unlike in Oryx and Crake where you follow one man, in Station Eleven you get varied perspectives on the apocalypse. You get the same sense of discovering things you know through the eyes of someone who is unfamiliar with them, but you also get the perspective of those who remember a time before the flu.

Given the recent/ongoing ebola epidemic, the points about how crippled society is without electricity seem particularly poignant. Station Eleven is the perfect book for any one who loves imagining the future but is fed up with the recent fads in YA lit. Mandel’s literary fiction take on the subject offers a refreshing, if somewhat bleak, return to the basics of the genre.

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