"Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel (2014)
Softcover, 333 pages
Don't you hate it when you over-expect? In this instance, I was wanting to really, really like "Station Eleven." After all, it was considered one of the best reads of 2014. Unfortunately, Emily St. John Mandel's best-selling novel was just an okay read for me. The story follows a troupe of Shakespearean actors and musicians who survive a devastating pandemic and decide to continue to travel and perform in hopes of keeping the Arts from dying. There are a lot of backstory moments before the pandemic, as well. And though sometimes interesting, the back and forth made everything a little too busy for such a short novel. There are bad guys to be met along the way, of course, and choices to be made. But I just was not feeling the moments.
Here is my conundrum. Emily St. John Mandel's writing style is simply beautiful. I mean, sentences and paragraphs are filled with observations and descriptions that are moving and sometimes breathtaking. Are the Arts worth living for? Are they worth dying for? And especially in darker times like these, the story should have made me feel more concerned about which way the needle would point. Sadly I wasn't. Still, "Station Eleven" reads fast and as I said...it was okay. I hate it when I over-expect. "Now go wash your hands."
"No Myth" - Michael Penn / "March" (1989)
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