Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Book Review

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Book Review

I loved this book! A story set in a post-apocalyptic world - where 99% of humanity has been killed off by a rampant virus - may not seem to have much to do with Shakespeare, yet Shakespeare’s works are at its heart.

The book begins with a fading actor dying on-stage while performing as King Lear, meanwhile a deadly virus has arrived, and hospitals are becoming overrun with the sick. 20 years later we follow a group of nomadic actors and musicians, the Travelling Symphony, as they wind their way around the North American Great Lakes, performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the small communities founded by survivors of the virus.

The book presents a very different post-apocalyptic world to the zombie-infested stories we’re all used to seeing. It is a world of quiet and melancholy, combined with occasional violence and frightening beliefs. It draws the reader in and illustrates in several ways how culture, from Shakespeare to comic books, provides an anchor in a shattered world.

Reviewed by Meghan (Head of Retail)

 

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