“I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.” // Review of “Station Eleven” by Emily St John Mandel

Title: Station Eleven
Emiy St John Mandel
Audio book narrator: Jack Hawkins
Genre:LIterary fiction/dystopia
Target audience:
Date Read: 27/06/18 – 09/08/18


This book took a while to hook me. As you can see from the dates above, it was on hold for a bit while I listened to other audio books, and intiially I only returned to this one because I had used an Audible credit to obtain it and felt an obligation. Somewhere in the second half, I realised I was looking forward to solo car trips so I could continue with it. I wanted to know how all the story threads came together and what happened to the characters.

Most of the dystopia/post-apocalyptic books I have read before have been YA fiction, actaion-packed and fast-paced. There books are often set so far into the future that it’s quite hard to really place them in any part of the world that we recognise; they might as well be set on a different planet. Station Eleven isn’t like that. It’s rooted in today’s world, and really examines how our lives – you and me in the second decade of the twenty-first century – would be affected if civilisation as we know it collapsed. It made me really think.

I will say that I am not usually one for literary fiction and even thinking about it now, some of the writing is flowery, bordering on wanky. I guess I got used to it in this case, but it’s probably not for everybody. The writing style is quite “tell, don’t show” rather than the reverse and perhaps Jack Hawkins’ narration of the audio book enhanced this somewhat. While I wouldn’t say he read in a monotone, there wasn’t a huge amount of expression.

There isn’t a huge amount of plot; this one iis definitely about the characters and how their lives intersect over the years. It almost feels like you’re reading these characters’ back stories half the time, rather then the parts of their lives the author wants you to know about. But somehow, I eventually did get invested enough in them to care anyway.

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2 thoughts on ““I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.” // Review of “Station Eleven” by Emily St John Mandel

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