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Station Eleven

20 Mar 2018

Another suggestion from Amazon's list of best books, Station Eleven is a story about humanity and civilization. The setting is before, during, and after a pandemic that wipes out the majority of the population and therefore brings our modern world to a halt. The narrative jumps back and forth across time and between narrator in a style that worked for me. Overall a good book that I would certainly recommend, but which I found lacking due to the span of time and potential to explore this future world.

I find it hard to fault a book for not spreading itself thin to cover all of the different interesting facets of this post-apocolyptic world it created it. Nonetheless, there are so many questions left unanswered. In itself that is the point. When the world crumbles, we are left as individuals to hold on to what we were or make something new of ourselves. Those living through this collapse are also suffering from unanswered questions, hope and deinal which eventually lead to acceptance. The focus on one set of characters woven from decades before to decades after the event leads to a sense of being one of them. You only know as much as they do and therefore that sense of not knowing is felt alongside them.

Parts of this story were particularly interesting to me after reading The Great Leveler. I had all of these thoughts about how this flu was affecting wealth distributions and income inequality. This book took the flu lethality to the extreme, worse than anything in history, so that the destruction was almost complete. The largest grouping of people that we hear of is a few hundred by twenty years after. That sort of decimation would obviously lead to a leveling of inequality. I had feelings like this was almost too extreme of a scenario for the real interesting parts to play out. I was hoping for more tribal issues or rebuilding efforts. While there were hints of these themes, they were mostly missing.


Category: book