Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Personal Copy
Station Eleven is a post-apocalyptic book, and the story starts out really strong and believable. Jeevan Chaudhary attends a play featuring, a famous actor named Arthur Leander. During the middle of the play, Arthur has a heart attack and dies. Jeevan leaves the theater and heads home, and receives a phone call from his friend that he needs to get out of town, fast. A plague has hit North America and within hours, those who are symptomatic are dead. Station Eleven tells the story of Arthur, Jeevan and a group of actors who roam around the ruins of this post-apocalyptic world.
Station Eleven started out really strong for me as a reader. Once the plague hits and everyone is panicking, it becomes very believable and real. Unlike many post-apocalyptic stories, you don’t just read about the “after,” you live the demise. This was my favorite part. Mandel explores before, during and after the pandemic. While I loved those parts of the book, I didn’t completely love it.
All the character’s that remain are connected to Arthur Leander which seemed a little odd when 99 percent of the population is gone. Arthur is explored throughout the novel, and it felt like a character study of him. The post-apocalyptic world wasn’t really explored as much as I would have liked. Mandel likes to allude to these “horrible” things that happened to one of the characters, but she never explored or explained those things. As a reader, I wanted to know. The prophet could have also been explored more in my opinion. I felt like the action started and stopped right away. The book remained more about Arthur than anything else.
I liked this book, but it wasn’t a favorite and I really felt like it was overhyped for me. It started out really strong, and then I just kept waiting for something to happen. I think it’s worth the read, if you’re interested. I kept reading, I didn’t want to put it aside, but I had issues with the book. I have read and reviewed Mandel's Last Night in Montreal, and I would like to try her other books as well.