Monday, March 16, 2015

We Recommend: Station Eleven

We recently read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and the story has stuck with us. Set before, during and after a great pandemic, the fluid storyline muses about fame, happiness and the meaning of life.

Multiple main characters offer varied viewpoints: Arthur Leander, a movie star in the twilight of his career; Miranda, Arthur's first wife, who analyzes her reality by creating comic books; Kristen, an actress in a new version of America, performing Shakespearian plays; Clark, an apocalyptic museum curator, who catalogs things that were mundane before the outbreak; the prophet, a celebrity for this new age...

Set in Toronto, Hollywood, and near Lake Michigan, the author's descriptive writing style is engrossing from beginning to end.

Here is a favorite passage, about a house in the Hollywood Hills:
"Miranda's study window looks out over the side yard, where the lawn terraces down to a pool. Beside the pool stands a lamp from the 1950s, a crescent moon atop a tall dark pole, placed in such a way that there's always a moon reflected in the water. The lamp is her favorite thing about the house, although she wonders sometimes about the reason for its existence. A diva who insisted on permanent moonlight? A bachelor who hoped to impress young starlets? There's a brief period most nights when the two moons float side by side on the surface. The fake moon, which has the advantage of being closer and not obscured by the smog, is almost always brighter than the real one."

book cover from amazon. moon photo by leonid tishkov.

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