Thursday, March 24, 2016

From Goodreads:

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from Star Trek: "Because survival is insufficient." But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Station Eleven is the best book I've read so far this year. As I read I thought, "This is post-apocalyptic fiction for people who are generally kind of tired of post-apocalyptic fiction."

Much of the book centers around the life and death of Arthur Leander, who had a heart attack less than 24 hours before the rest of the world came to a screeching halt thanks to a crazy flu that wiped out 99.9% of humanity. His existence should be inconsequential in the face of something much bigger but he echoes in the lives of survivors and serves as a reminder that ultimately it's the little things that matter the most.

No comments: