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Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven

Posted in Book reviews, and Fiction

Another sci-fi book in my bookshelf? Oh, it seems so. Let’s go. Station? 11.

In her novel, Emily St. John Mandel takes us to Toronto in days so different that is hard to imagine, where nothing seems familiar.

Station Eleven is visually stunning. It has incredible ability to describe post-apocalyptic places and times with such grace, that it reminded me some kind of chilling fairy tale. Whole story is described in a melancholic style, almost like being told as an old memory of a friend. On one hand, it was so weird and cold, far away, but at the same time it was too believable. How many times we have been exposed to the malicious virus? Would it really look so afterwards?

In general, you can say Station Eleven covers almost everything: the present, the past and the future. Relationships, survival and surprisingly even art! It has its important place and as already many times before I appreciated how neccessary is its existence. Art connects people, helps overcome struggles and forget the pain, even only temporarily. As an old Star Trek saying goes: Survival is insufficient. There is more than that to fight for.

But of course, it wasn‘t all the time thrilling read. Maybe I haven‘t read enough books of this genre, moreover none by Emily St. John Mandel, but sometimes I got lost in her world, that I forgot what‘s the main story. There are two, actually, kind of predictable story lines. Interestingly enough, I found the story line from the current time more enjoyable, easily readable. And let me tell you why: because it was my world, the comfortable life I live in. No prophets, no abandoned towns, nor Museum of Civilization. To read about something my mind was unable to grasp was more challenging, but also rewarding.
I would love to see this book being a film. But also, I‘m not sure whether I‘d want to watch it in a cinema. Sure, I can imagine scenes combining Burning Man and creepy landscapes of civilization swallowed by wilderness. But maybe I would appreciate more action then.

This books asks many questions and let us, readers, think about our present life and future. To me, it was just another reminder, how we are taking so many things for granted, and how often small situations can lead to years of regrets, and an useless stuff can become a meaninful tool.
It recalls our vulnerability to the weather, illnesses, beliefs and odds. It shows how our past looks always brigther then it really was, but the present moment is what matters the most.

As they say, history repeats itself and if one day such event will come, let‘s hope Station Eleven will be someone‘s protected possesion. It would be well deserved.

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