Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
(Knopf, 2014, 333 pages)
When a famous Hollywood actor suddenly has a heart attack on stage during a performance of King Lear, everyone thought that is what they would be talking about for days to come. Little did they know that a few hours later, the Georgia Flu had started wiping out a majority of the world’s population. Only 1% of the world survives and twenty years later the world is a much different place. One of the child actors who was one stage during King Lear has joined the Traveling Symphony who travel from town to town doing performances of seldom heard music and plays. The symphony deals with the trials of this new everyday life but none has tested them like the strange occurrences that start to happen when they pass through a town and meet the self-proclaimed prophet.
I absolutely loved this read. It was strange and perfectly on trend but with such a fresh idea on post-apocalyptic life that I flew through the book in no time. The twists and turns were weird but fell perfectly in place at the end. The book shifts back and forth between before the flu outbreak and the famous actor who played King Lear to years after epidemic and the child actor who shared the stage with him. It’s such an interesting story and another finalist for the National Book Award this year.