Sunday, July 13, 2014

2014 book 169

Emily St John Mandel's Station Eleven
I'll admit to not having really looked at the description before I started this--something about an actor?--but having enjoyed the author's other works (particularly Lola Quartet and Last Night in Montreal), I was gung-ho to read it no matter what it was about. And sure enough, it starts with a production of King Lear where the actor playing Lear suddenly has a heart attack on stage. BUT THEN! A flu pandemic hits! And to my complete delight, it suddenly turns into a post-apocalyptic story! Things mainly focus on a group of traveling performers--an orchestra and a troupe of Shakespearean actors that includes a little girl who was in the production of Lear that started things off--but we flash back to the actor's life before his death, along with the pre-pandemic lives of others who knew him. Maybe it sounds like a mish-mash, but it isn't at all, it's wonderful! Seriously, I loved this--really, really strong writing, amazing characters, a fair amount of post-apocalyptic action, a creepy prophet, comic books, etc. I really hope this is a hit because I thought it was amazing. A and a strong contender for my favorites-of-the-year list.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in September.

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