Notes to self for the post-apocalyptic lifestyle (or Review: Station Eleven)

station elevenTitle: Station Eleven

Author: Emily St. John Mandel

Published: 2014

Read: April 2016

It’s been a very slow spring for reading. My usual reading time, aka, the commute, has been cut short because I find myself doing more laptop typing than Kindle reading. My nighttime reading time has been replaced with TV watching and other such sundries (like recipe searching!). Also, quite simply I haven’t found many good books that I’m dying to start. Even though the ones I’ve been reading this year have been pretty great. I’m still gonna try to do this review every book I read thing, though, starting with this one I couldn’t put down by Emily St. John Mandel.

Let’s get one thing straight. Should some apocalyptic event occur during my lifetime, based on the novels I’ve read over the years, I’ve pretty much accepted that I’m going to be one of the first to go. I just don’t have the survival skills needed to be good at tough-living. I don’t know how to shoot a gun. My knife skills are sub-par. I can’t drive stick. Crossfit has gotten me a little bit stronger, but I’m not sure that the ability to do a lot of burpees is going to help save my hide when the poop hits the fan. Sorry, dear family, you are on your own.

So why am I fascinated by post-apocalyptic stories? I wish I knew. Station Eleven starts slow with a variety of separate storylines. The book starts prior to a sudden flu pandemic that wipes out the majority of the human race. A famous actor, Arthur Leander, suffers a heart attack while on stage just hours before Toronto is hit with a flu pandemic that wipes out the majority of the human race. Years later you also meet Kristen, who once worked with Arthur (on the same production, his last production). You meet the man who tried to save Arthur’s life, Arthur’s ex-wives, all the while wondering how these storylines relate to one another. Continue reading, connect the dots and be rewarded with a suspenseful confrontation and aftermath that makes you wish you had one more chapter to read.

Also, memo to self: Make sure the kid knows how to drive a manual transmission. Maybe give her some cross-bow training. You never know.

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