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Station Eleven Review

by Sam Villanueva, Visuals Staff

This whimsical, tragic novel fell into my hands at the perfect time. I was in an airplane reading about everything the characters lost because of the disease that killed 99 percent of humanity. Being up in the clouds, I realized how mundane things like flying or checking social media were so easily lost in this post-apocalyptic world.

“Station Eleven”, by Emily St. John Mandel, is a story of intertwining human relationships in a time of so much anguish. The disease that wipes out almost all of humanity, the Georgia Flu, is actually a minor plot line in the novel, which I really appreciated. I’ve never read a novel that focused more on the before and much later aspects of an apocalypse. Mandel didn’t dwell on the first couple years of the flu’s influence, but rather, Mandel focused on a single character and the way his life influenced so many people before and after his sudden death at the time of the flu.

The writing is honestly some of the best I’ve read in a long time. The way Mandel writes, highlighting seemingly minuscule and normal routines, or how the characters clutched on to their past through discarded mementos like a broken cell phone and a credit card, is so moving. It made me rethink everything in my life. The beautiful, intricate way in which the lives of the characters intertwine, Mandel’s descriptions of electricity, and the magnificent characterization were all other aspects of this novel that still shock me just thinking about them. Sometimes, I even had to close the book and just take it all in because it was so moving.

Overall, “Station Eleven” is something that will stay with me for as long as I can remember. A novel as existential and tragic as this will always hold a place in my heart.

A+