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Station Eleven

Staff Review

Staff Pick

Original
Ray
HPB Staff

Station Eleven

by Mandel, Emily St John
Not your average dystopia

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is a quiet but powerful study of humanity, art, and hope after the complete collapse of society as we know it. A disease known as the "Georgia Flu" spreads quickly across the globe, killing roughly ninety-nine percent of the world's population. People are not the only thing to go in the collapse, electricity fails, gasoline dries up, and the internet becomes nothing more than a lesson to be learned in history class in the new dark future. The novel jumps back and forth through time, chronicling the events and exploring the lives of it's characters before, during, and long after the world is reset by disease. In the chapters set in the pre-collapse world, the story revolves in wonderful circles around Arthur Leander, a superstar actor living in Toronto, who dies of a heart attack during a stage performance of Shakespeare's King Lear, only hours before the rest of the world would start to crumble. As the circles widen around Arthur's life, we get to know his many ex-wives, his friends, and others affected by his "celebrity." In the years after the collapse, Emily St. John Mandel expresses a dystopian future, unlike anything I've read in a book or have seen on a screen. There are no zombies, no "Mad Max" highway pirates wearing masks made of skulls. A band of survivors who call themselves "The Traveling Symphony" navigate the broken world of North America performing Shakespeare throughout the scattered towns and encampments that now make up society. To them, survival is not enough and their art is the thing keeping them from complete hopelessness. While they do not face the threat of zombie hordes, their world is not a safe one. People still kill for food and ammunition and cults of religious fanatics seem to spring from the ground without much effort at all. In particular, a man who calls himself "The Prophet" presents a very real danger to the symphony. What I loved about Station Eleven are the ingenious way the author is able to connect the past and future together in very clever ways while delivering great images of failing marriages pre-collapse to a quarantined plane sitting still on a tarmac in a world that is turning to dust. I highly recommend this novel and you should trust me because I read it.

 
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An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. A National Book Award FinalistA PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end. Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band's existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.



  • Condition: Used - Good
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
    • Fine/Like New (F): Book may have been read. Looks new and has no defects. May show remainder marks. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Near Fine (NF): Clean, with no defects, but may show slight wear at edges of book or dust jacket. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Very Good (VG): Shows signs of wear. May have minor defects: clipped or chipped dust jacket; owner’s inscription; remainder mark; minor foxing or bumping. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. May have any of the defects above to a greater degree, including highlighting, library markings, or loose bindings. Rare and collectible books may have cocked spine, cracked hinges, water stains; torn or repaired dust jacket. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Fair (FR): May be very worn, soiled, torn, or barely holding together. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Poor (P): May have extensive damage from moisture or insects; detached boards; parts may be missing; marginally salable unless very unusual. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Sold by: HPB Flagship
  • Seller rating:
  • Language: --
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN-13: 9780804172448
  • ISBN: 0804172447
  • Publication Year: 2015



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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): Book may have been read. Looks new and has no defects. May show remainder marks. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Near Fine (NF): Clean, with no defects, but may show slight wear at edges of book or dust jacket. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows signs of wear. May have minor defects: clipped or chipped dust jacket; owner’s inscription; remainder mark; minor foxing or bumping. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. May have any of the defects above to a greater degree, including highlighting, library markings, or loose bindings. Rare and collectible books may have cocked spine, cracked hinges, water stains; torn or repaired dust jacket. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): May be very worn, soiled, torn, or barely holding together. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): May have extensive damage from moisture or insects; detached boards; parts may be missing; marginally salable unless very unusual. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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