"Station Eleven", by Emily St.John Mandel

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

This story is the weirdness I have read in a long time. First I am not a fan of sci-fi/fiction although I do read some from time to time. I loved Miss Mandel’s previous novels so why not go for this latest after all ”Station Eleven” was one of the 2014 finalists for the National Book Award for fiction, This was enough to give it a try, after all this book must be a good read.

The idea behind is very timely with Ebola and different strains of flu mutating across the Planet and the threats and capacity this has to wipe humans off the face of the earth make indeed one scary topic for a novel. Miss Mandel story unfolds after the Georgia flu has done that. This novel does a lot of time-shuffling from before the outbreak and 20 years after. The plot jigsaws a lot of pieces together which needs particular attention not to get lost in. This drama also taps into the poignancy of lives cut short, living a scenario without any hope and where life is altered for ever. This book is very tough and it takes a while before the seemingly disparate stories come together, every loose end is eventually neatly tied and each character is put to rest and finally life goes on.

Having said this I was most disappointed with this book. The subject is very thin, the tone and narrative lack the richness of her other novels and finally the characters are too one dimensional to be memorable and by far appealing. Indeed this apocalyptic, flowery, ridiculous concoction is not my cup of tea. Having said this , the story has many merits particularly how expertly Ms. Mandel manages to plunges us in the middle of a developing society fighting for survival where gas fast runs out, the electric grid is down, food is a rarity and everyone fends for themselves. Scary isn't it?.....