I need to take a deep breath before suggesting this book to anyone. Half because I want to keep it to myself for 2 extra seconds, half because I need to keep calm and not do a weird exasperated dance and yell READ THIS. I had noticed this book for several months on top lists of 'READ THIS NEXT,' which I usually devour but for some reason it didn't speak to me so I kept skipping over it. I have always wanted to be a part of a book-club but don't have a solid group with the same reading interests so it hasn't aligned, so I joined meetup.com a year or so ago to dive in. I am pretty outgoing but meeting strangers is still a weird thing for me, so I never made the plunge until a few weeks ago I saw that there was a 'Books + Beer Club' meeting up (in three days!) and they were reading this book. So I went to the bookstore the next morning (three actually, because the first two were sold out) and bought it on newly released paperback! I finished it in 32 hours and (don't tell my boss because I may have been sick) read it all day long, mostly in one sitting- it was THAT. GOOD. Thank you book-club! It is my go-to right now. I am obsessed and here is why.
Quick synopsis: in present day, a Hollywood semi-has-been super famous star has a heart attack while on stage and within the next few hours, the current population starts dying off at a rapid rate. 20 years later, .02% (or some crazy small amount like that) is left, traveling to 'towns' along the way, preforming Shakespeare reenactments.
Okay, so if Brad Pitt died and your next door neighbor gave him CPR that night but the only people who survived were Burning Man theater friends trying to find their companions after some weird cult-like stuff happens, but they end up all being connected, but there is also a rad female heroine, some weird religion stuff, and really interesting flashbacks on 3 divorces, that would be the mild version of this book. (The run-on is here is mild to how stoked I am when I talk about this book in real life.)
“Hell is the absence of the people you long for.” - Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
This isn't just another post-apocalyptic/dystopian book, it is now the standard for all post apocalyptic books after! Although there isn't the science fiction of zombies like The Walking Dead, it definitely has its similarities while making TWD look so simple- not an east feat. The crew comes across new mini-civilizations that are keeping camp in abandon McDonald's as well as an abandoned airport- COMMENTARY ON CURRENT SOCIETY HERE***~*~.
The character plots and foreshadowing are haunting and superb, it made me feel like it was too late to start living in our current world- what an overwhelming feeling! Emily St. John Mandel really looks at day-to-day things and turns them around in such an intelligent way, I felt like I was stuck between the now and after world. Funny enough, the electricity went out in my neighborhood a few days after I finished this and when looking out onto our balcony, everything was pitch dark and my thought was, OMG Station Eleven is real.
A quick indication that you might fall in love with a book is to look at the reviews on the back by not just national newspapers, but your fellow authors. If the creator of GAME OF THRONES LOVES THIS BOOK- what else do you need? It was one of those books that I (in mid-read) would put down and rolls my eyes because it's just so good and was so sad that I won't be able to experience it for the first time again and again. If you love books OR if you haven't read in 20 years and you have no idea what to dive into- READ this!