Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

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Station Eleven tells a story about the first steps of the human kind after the world they knew and were sure of was suddenly taken from under their feet.   

Rating: 5/5

The atmosphere of this story is enchanting and otherworldly (just look at that cover!). Where do you find solace when the world you thought you knew becomes a wasteland? When you have nowhere to go, nowhere to live, nothing to do, and the people you love are not around any more? Station Eleven is terrifying in the sense that it seems absolutely possible. There is no zombie apocalypse, no alien invasion, no horsemen of the apocalypse. And the world still ends. Electricity ends. Technology ends. And people go back to their roots, trying simply to survive at first, and then realizing that survival is insufficient.

Station Eleven is a beautifully written, quiet and enigmatic story that portrays resilience of people. It is not action-packed, rather very slow and unhurried, and wonderfully descriptive. I don’t feel it is possible to describe it in a way that does it justice; it is positively unputdownable. Reading about this clean slate of a brave new, ancient, tough, lonely, empty and dark world makes you feel like right now there is just too much world, too much noise, too much stress. It screams “Pay attention!” to what is truly important, because it is not going to be around forever; “Be present!” and don’t hide behind screens and walls and fears. See, touch, taste, feel, live!

Hell is the absence of the people you long for.

I’m sorry, I’ve just realized that I’m as minimally present in this world as you are, I had no right to judge.

No more Internet. No more social media, no more scrolling through litanies of dreams and nervous hopes and photographs of lunches, cries for help and expressions of contentment and relationship-status updates with heart icons whole or broken, plans to meet up later, pleas, complaints, desires, pictures of babies dressed as bears or peppers for Halloween. No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in so doing, feeling slightly less alone in the room. No more avatars.

This book is like a breath of fresh air, and I recommend it to everyone!

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