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Old 12-17-2019, 02:20 PM   #1
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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

'Set in the days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the 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.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.'


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There are two phases of discussion. The first begins immediately and may contain conversations about anything pre-completion of the selection including reading progress, section thoughts, outside info, etc. The second begins on the 1st and also includes anything post-completion. These are recommended to help us discuss things in a similar timeframe but anyone can discuss any part or aspect at any time.


This is the MR Literary Club selection for December 2019. Everyone is welcome so feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time; the more the merrier!



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Old 12-22-2019, 01:57 AM   #2
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I’m listening to the audiobook. Are there illustrations of the comic strips in the book or are they only described there as well?
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:07 PM   #3
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No illustrations in the ebook. Just the power of your imagination! I felt that they were described with enough detail that I could really see them in my mind.

Did you finish the book?
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:40 PM   #4
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My copy of the ebook (bought from amazon UK fwiw) has a couple of illustrations. One is of the cover of Doctor Eleven vol 1, no 1. The other is the panel described in chapter eight.

The one captioned, I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.

The art style is quite retro.
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:36 PM   #5
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Thanks, latepaul. The US and UK versions appear to have different publishers. I’ve already returned it to the library. Maybe there were pictures and I just completely forgot and that’s why I can still remember them in my mind. It’s entirely possible!
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Old 12-28-2019, 04:22 PM   #6
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I finished this book over a couple of quiet days before Christmas and liked it very much. Not sure there is very much I can pick apart in this book - I'll have to try harder . I actually thought it quite well constructed in its managing of non serial time and of parallel locations, plus a good story line and OK prose.

I would think that different opinions would exist as to whether it was science fiction genre or not, but that was not something I felt inclined to want to exercise my mind with.

I had a USA version, no illustrations apart from the cover.

Am currently fitting in with other things one of Sun Surfer's nominations, In the Shadow of the Banyan; early days but am liking it, so I appreciate having been pointed to it.
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Old 01-01-2020, 11:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
No illustrations in the ebook. Just the power of your imagination! I felt that they were described with enough detail that I could really see them in my mind.

Did you finish the book?
Quote:
Originally Posted by latepaul View Post
My copy of the ebook (bought from amazon UK fwiw) has a couple of illustrations. One is of the cover of Doctor Eleven vol 1, no 1. The other is the panel described in chapter eight.

The one captioned, I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.

The art style is quite retro.
Thanks to both of you. That is interesting they include illustrations only on certain versions; you'd think, with the comic being such an integral part of the story, that the author would've wanted all versions to have the illustrations if any of them did.

The reason I'd asked is because when searching for covers to include in the first post, I fleetingly came across some illustrations that looked like comic strip panels of scenes from the imaginary comic in the book. I didn't quite realise it at the time, but once I was into the book and the descriptions of the comic came it made me wonder.

And yes, Bookworm_Girl, I've now finished.
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Old 01-01-2020, 11:19 PM   #8
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Am currently fitting in with other things one of Sun Surfer's nominations, In the Shadow of the Banyan; early days but am liking it, so I appreciate having been pointed to it.
I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying it!
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:23 AM   #9
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I had mixed feelings about this book. A good illustration of the types of thoughts I had at points was in the beginning. I think it was the first or maybe second description of the events at the theatre the night Arthur dies, and near the end it mentions Kirsten and her handler are still in some backstage room and a small group are left at the bar with the bartender. It's mentioned as a surprising throwaway at the end of the section that no one still there that night survived much longer because of the coming flu.

I was pleasantly surprised and my interest was piqued at that because I'd thought the author was a bit too obviously setting up the young girl as a future protagonist, and to kill her off with the other more seemingly expendable characters still at the theatre was unexpected. Of course later I realise my mistake, that St. John Mandel must've been alluding specifically to only the characters at the bar of the theatre, which was a bit of a disappointment.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:53 AM   #10
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I read this when it came out. I enjoyed it, and I don't care much for the post apocalyptic genre of books. This one was one of the better ones though. Mine had no illustrations.
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:45 PM   #11
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I read this when it came out. I enjoyed it, and I don't care much for the post apocalyptic genre of books. This one was one of the better ones though. Mine had no illustrations.
Thanks for offering your opinion drofgnal. I did enjoy that St. John Mandel took this in a different direction than so many post-apocalyptic books, focusing on art and aspiring to something greater than only survival.
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