Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Station Eleven. A novel by Emily St. John Mandel

Emily St. John Mandel post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven delves deep into the potential of the novel as a form to produce a work that is both complex in structure while approachable in style and the elements of story. St. John Mandel weaves back and forth to both the time before a flu killed ninety-nine percent of people, and after.

Along the way she introduces characters, leaves them, and returns to them again. Although this can sometimes present a complex arrangement, at least the mid-point of the novel she has introduced all the characters, and we start to see how they interlock.

And interlock the do.  St. John Mandel wrote mystery novels before this work, and she has the clever ability to leave clues and suggestions of things to come; and like a mystery writer, she is skilled at tying up all the far flung threads of the story she has written.

Station Eleven is bold in execution and elegant in style.  It illustrates that the whole spate of post-apocalyptic novels which has appeared in the last decade has yet to run out of creative steam.

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