Posts Tagged ‘station eleven’

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – ReviewStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Genres: Dystopian
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is an apocalyptic tale about the fall of human civilisation and the struggle of the survivors after a pandemic wipes out 99% of the population.  It follows several characters as they attempt to survive in this new world and come to terms with what has happened to their civilisation.  I Iistened to this in audiobook format and enjoyed it very much.

What I liked

Interesting narrative structure.  Rather than have a straightforward linear narrative, Mandel tells her story through a series of non sequential vignettes taking place before, during and after the Collapse as it is called.  These snapshots are loosely connected through the character of Arthur Leander.  Although Arthur dies in the very beginning, shortly before the Collapse, his presence is felt throughout the book.  These snippets of life give more of an impression than a comprehensive narrative, but it is very effective at conveying the idea of a society after a collapse.

Interesting characters.  Mandel has a wide cast of characters with each given his or her moment in the spotlight.  The points of view covered include characters who remember society before the Collapse, some who have only vague memories of how things were and those younger people who have only known this broken society. This creates a very interesting range of attitudes and experiences.

The audio narration.  The narrator for Station Eleven was Kirsten Potter and I felt she did a fantastic job.  I enjoyed hearing the tale spoken out loud and Potter was great at distinguishing between all the characters.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Station Eleven and gave it four and a half stars out of five.

 buy from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Audible

This week I have been reading shorter books so I feel I have been making excellent progress compared to the epic fantasy behemoths I’ve been reading lately.  I finished the cutesy contemporary romance Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  I will be doing a full review next week, so I won’t say too much now.

I have also been dipping in and out of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.  OK, at 640 pages or 33 hours audiobook, that’s not exactly short…  I’ve been listening mainly to Davina Porter’s excellent audiobook narration.  As I am Scottish born, I appreciate her rendition of the Scots accent.  I was reading the series, but I became stuck in the middle of book three.  The major TV adaption by Starz has inspired me to start rereading.  I’ll probably just keep dipping in and out rather than reading it in a block.

Since I’m talking about the series, I would just like to say how much I’m enjoying it.  We in Canada are a couple of weeks behind our US cousins.  I knew the series was in safe hands with Ronald D. Moore who helmed the wonderful Battlestar Galactica.  He is very skilled at creating worlds while retaining the human core of a story.  The casting is pitch perfect.  Catriona Balfe is amazing as Claire Randall and Sam Heughan – phwar.  Not only is he exceptionally easy on the eye to say the least, he has the acting chops to bring out Jamie’s personality.  Where do I get my Heughligans tee-shirt again?  I’d only seen Tobias Menzies as the milksop Edmure Tully in Game of Thrones, but he is doing a fantastic job of distinguishing between the dual roles of sweet and studious Frank Randall and the dastardly Black Jack Randall.

My one gripe about the series is Claire’s voiceover.  That is so annoying.  The script and the actors are perfectly capable of portraying what’s going on and the characters’ emotional reactions, thank you very much, without having to listen to a voiceover.  It seems to have lessened the further on in the series we go, which is a relief.  I’m happy to hear Starz has already renewed it for a second season – yay!

Added to my library this week

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black.  I didn’t know much about this book before I bought it – I purchased it purely on the names of the authors, whose work I like very much.  I’ve started reading it and so far my opinion is that it is a poor man’s Harry Potter.  We’ll see if my opinion remains the same.  Look for my review next week.  I bought The Iron Trial in both Kindle and Audible formats.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel has been on my radar for a little while now.  This seemed an interesting concept.  An actor’s death links several characters and we follow them through civilisation’s collapse in the wake of a devastating pandemic.  I read the Kindle sample and found it intriguing and well written.  I picked this up from Audible.

Do you listen to audiobooks?  Which ones are you listening to right now?  Let me know in the comments.