One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the cross-hairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
I got an ARC of Emily’s new book The Glass Hotel from NYCC ’19 and before I read that I wanted to listen to Station Eleven.
I could not stop listening to it. It’s not so much that it’s suspenseful but I needed to find out what happened to the characters.
There are a few main characters to follow and it moves back and forth through time, and that has the potential to get confusing and messy. Station Eleven is written seamlessly with the way the little details unfold and connect. That’s also what made it un-put-downable.
Post-apocalyptic stories always scare me just a little bit. Listening to the way civilization unraveled had me a bit freaked out. (I don’t think I’d make it far. I can’t hunt or fish or garden. Unless I found someone to teach me those skills I would die within the first year.)
Favorite Quote in Chapter 23: “Hell is the absence of the people you long for.”
5 out of 5 Symphonies
I only have one small wish for the ending:
I would have like to see Kirsten and Clark talk more about the comic book Station Eleven and to figure out how they are connected. And maybe she could have seen an old airport copy of Dear V (one that was used for fire kindling.)