Monday, August 3, 2015

More Post-apocalyptic Fiction: Station Eleven

Station Eleven, Emily St John Mandel
This was delicious.
  • Warranted cover-stickerage, happening here.  This is an elegant interwoven medley of dark journeys speckled with hope.
  • Mandel's language and narrative cast a spell.  Not only does her poetic wordsmithing and imagery elicit literary swooning, she has these confident flash-forward moments that break the fourth wall and continue to lure and pull you along.
  • The characters are all flawed.  I wasn't taken with any in a huge way (but if I had to choose a favourite, it has to be Miranda!), and yet I was never disappointed to receive updates on any characters' status.  I found this a highly atypical experience; to lack investment in the individuals and yet feel very invested in the overall character tableau...that is what it feels like, to me -- a carefully curated exhibition of experiences to absorb as a whole.
  • Fantastic allusions.
  • Great world-building.
  • Disclaimers for sensitivities: some swearing, some violence, some disturbing/seriously sad content, and sexual references.  No detailed sensuality, no dwelling on the gore, no over-exploration of the sadistic. 
  • Some of the post-apocalyptic moments are golden.  I love that stuff, you know I do.  The outbreak/plagues tale isn't new, but the treatment, character response and form in Station Eleven is something special.
Thank you, Flo, for recommending it. x
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