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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2014: A flight from Russia lands in middle America, its passengers carrying a virus that explodes “like a neutron bomb over the surface of the earth.” In a blink, the world as we know it collapses. “No more ballgames played under floodlights,” Emily St. John Mandel writes in this smart and sober homage to life’s smaller pleasures, brutally erased by an apocalypse. “No more trains running under the surface of cities ... No more cities ... No more Internet ... No more avatars.” Survivors become scavengers, roaming the ravaged landscape or clustering in pocket settlements, some of them welcoming, some dangerous. What’s touching about the world of Station Eleven is its ode to what survived, in particular the music and plays performed for wasteland communities by a roving Shakespeare troupe, the Traveling Symphony, whose members form a wounded family of sorts. The story shifts deftly between the fraught post-apocalyptic world and, twenty years earlier, just before the apocalypse, the death of a famous actor, which has a rippling effect across the decades. It’s heartbreaking to watch the troupe strive for more than mere survival. At once terrible and tender, dark and hopeful, Station Eleven is a tragically beautiful novel that both mourns and mocks the things we cherish. –Neal Thompson
Winner of the toronto book award · Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award · Finalist for a National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Sunburst Award · Longlisted for the Baileys women’s Prize for fiction, the international dublin · Literary award, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction · A New York Times bestseller · A Globe and Mail bestseller · An entertainment weekly best book of the year · An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse
One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous Hollywood actor, 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 Arthur’s early days as a film star to twenty years in the future, when a theatre troupe known as the Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: Arthur, the man who tried to save him, Arthur’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Travelling Symphony caught in the crosshairs 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.
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