I am probably the last person to have read Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. Even my mom read it before me. But read it I have, and you may be shocked to find out that I was disappointed by it. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, but it failed to live up to the hype.
Dystopian novels, despite recent trends, are not really my thing. However, Mandel created a compelling and convicing post-devastation world that grabbed my attention. Set mostly in Toronto and rural Ontario, Station Eleven imagines a world after a fast-moving virus kills off most of civilization in a matter of days.
Ultimately I have no complaints about the novel, more just that it wasn’t for me. Also the fact that it made so many “Best of 2014” lists made me expect something a little deeper. Station Eleven was a quick read, but I think i was expecting something with great depth, maybe more along the lines of Oryx and Crake.
Who would like this book? Station Eleven is a crowd pleaser. It will appeal to a wide range of tastes. I think all of us can fall prey to imagining what life would be like after major devastation; what we would do in order to survive. The thing I most enjoyed about Station Eleven was how all the various characters’ stories wound together in the end. In that way it reminded me a bit of A Visit From the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan (review).