Station Eleven is a dystopian / post-apocalyptic novel like no other.
If you want to read about your typical, hero/heroine battling it out against his/her peers to survive, you’ve got the wrong novel. I absolutely love that Emily St John Mandel did not attempt to repeat an apparently winning formula by just changing a couple of elements and essentially retelling the same story over again. This piece has actually raised the bar to a new level where hopefully others will be willing to venture, expand and create new originals stories.
Station Eleven is a completely unique perspective on the dystopian genre and if you are anything like me, it will leave you a little freaked out throughout its reading. First of all, it is set in our time and will use the pop culture references that we are familiar with today. You will come across our well known social media networks and our greed for everything digital will also have its representation where the iphone amongst other items will make a few cameo appearances. Basically, you will recognise yourself in the stories of the people you are just about to encounter…then catastrophe hits!!
When I say catastrophe hits, I should clarify this. It does not matter who you are, whether you are the leader of the free world, the Queen of England or Jo Blogg, this thing will get you and no fortified bunker will save you. If it hits you, it’s too late and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it!!!
What about contingency planning? You will ask. Well, there is none. There is just, pick up the pieces or what is left of them and start over.
What I found fascinating about this novel, and I am sure others have probably succeeded in doing so before, is the clever depiction of how a tragedy has a way to level the playing field for all; what is left of the human resilience when all that we take for granted is taken away. The positive message throughout is still, that even though you have to dig real deep, you just do whatever you can to survive, because ultimately there is no choice but to adapt.
On a lighter note, we are introduced to a sub story taking place in a comics universe that has a lot of potential for development and could take a life of its own. Now who would not want to see a Station Eleven comics?!