Could this book be a little bit longer please?
As the first few books from my Cannonball did not really grab me, I was glad when this one did. To say grab though is a bit of an understatement. It was like getting pulled by the ear over to a scene and someone shouting into my ear “LOOK AT THIS!” In the posting of my review, I see that it is going to be the Book Club on 9 March. Definitely get it and you’ll easily have it finished in time to participate in Book Club!
Quite early into the book, it is revealed that most people will be dead within a short amount of time. And that led me to read voraciously about what happened, to whom, and why, and what is the aftermath of such a statement. What was fun for me was that the premise of this book was a theme in one of the short stories from Pretty Monsters which I had just finished. The interesting question originating in Ms. Link’s short story, what would you do if most of civilization died in a global pandemic (?!), becomes thoroughly considered and answer in Station 11.
Emily St. John Mandel effortlessly breezes from one story to another, from past to present, from one character to another. By the end of the novel, you realize you have ready something fairly expansive, without a moment of feeling like you were being dragged through something tedious. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the story and I would have happily kept reading it, if it were longer. As I approached the end of the book, I thought ESJM was driving toward a tidy(ish) climax which would connect a number of the book’s threads together and she didn’t do that and that was awesome. I am grateful that in her power as the author she didn’t resolve tensions with a giant group realization and group hug.
It’s simply but very well written, an “easy” read but one that often got me thinking about what I would do (should I survive the pandemic) in an unpowered world. It could certainly serve as someone’s inspiration to kick start a technology reduction diet. I recommended it to Star Daughter as she had a free reading assignment for school. She looked into it and rather than wait for me to finish my copy, bought her own, she was so excited to read it. And she reads it when she can manage to put her phone down, (un)ironically. (How she gets anything done ever is still a mystery to me.) Mr. Star is reading it too now and – unbelievably – will stay in bed longer to read it. I wouldn’t have initially classified it as a YA appropriate read. But after getting to the end, it totally is. It is age-defying in the way that for me Rainbow Rowell is. It’s my first 5-star read and if you like Walking Dead, for its post-apocalyptic survival story or Breaking Bad for the element of what ordinary people have to do to in unusual circumstances, I highly recommend this book. Certainly have it on hand for when the power goes out. And you’ll be even more grateful when it comes back on.