Station Eleven

This is going to be a quick review, because I read this book a long time ago. But almost every time I read or write something, Station Eleven and its brilliance always come back to me. It is one incredible book.

The novel mostly follows the life of Kirsten, an actor in a traveling theater company that specializes in Shakespeare. Oh, and also the world has pretty much ended because of a swine flu epidemic.

What a concept. I was skeptical, hesitant even, to start reading this. Especially when the first chapter is mostly about the death of an actor on stage. But once the sickness starts rolling in and tension ratchets up, Station Eleven is a book you can’t put down.

The novel is told through various timelines. A tactic that hides great discoveries later on but can confuse the reader if not done well. It is done well here. It is a masterful balancing act of multiple times, characters, and story arcs. The world they live in is as dreamlike as the opening descriptions of King Lear.

I don’t want to reveal anything, but rest assured this is one of the best novels of the 2010s and possibly the century. It is unassuming, it is bold, and it is completely engrossing. Just try to put it down, I dare you.

4 out of 4 stars.

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