Station Eleven Book Review

Station Eleven came in the pile of books from #SaveTheCulture #BookExchange. All three of the books I’ve received so far came from the friends of one of my friends (as opposed to a couple from one repost and one from a different repost). It came with a note:

Hi! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. I especially love that parts of it happen in MI 🙂 Happy Reading!

It was a greeting card style and the pages are slightly yellowed at the edges, which is more homey. It’s either a book she owned or a used copy but kept in great condition.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had Station Eleven recommended. At least three other people have suggested it. I can see why. It’s like a cross between The Night Circus and The Hunger Games. It’s enjoyable, interesting, and beautiful. But it’s also safe. I don’t mean to complain, and I know a lot of people loved it, but it’s missing something compelling.

The story tells a non-linear tale of a traveling symphony in a world after disease has killed off all but ten percent of the population. It does so by taking on the perspectives of characters’ pre- end of the world (a famous author, one of his three wives, and an entertainment journalist/photographer), as the world ends (the same photographer/paramedic and his brother), and after the disease (a girl who performed in a production with the famous actor and her traveling band of entertainers) among others.

The characters didn’t really catch anything inside. They weren’t unrelatable but they also didn’t have moments of gripping emotions that yanked at my guts. It wasn’t a trudge through the pages but there wasn’t anything I had to discover. It played out about as I’d expected, there wasn’t anything mysterious or daring that jolted me. The post-apocalyptic landscape didn’t envision anything I hadn’t seen before, a regression into micro communities slowly rebuilding. The world end was somewhat different in that it was more realistic and we saw it from a transformative level as opposed to a stark before and a new after set some three years later.

It was an enjoyable read but that was all. I don’t feel like it was a waste of time and I deeply appreciate having it sent but that said, it isn’t my new favorite book either. Which I guess is part of the difficulty in sending a book for someone you don’t know.


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