This is a SPOILER PAGE for the book Station Eleven. This means that nothing is held back about the book here. If you have not read the book, this page is not for you. My review of the book is here.
Consider yourself warned.
I had not planned on writing a spoiler page on this book but after I posted my review and comments started coming in, I knew I had more to say… more I could not say in my post, but I can say here.
Arthur Leander… what an interesting character. I really loved how the book made him a central player and all things branched out from him (like 5 degrees to Kevin Bacon). That part of the book I think was the heart. I think it played out well through the book all the way to the Prophet being his son (which I also loved!) I was impressed with that whole story line.
Kirsten also is an interesting character and I like her connections throughout the book as well. Her story though feels incomplete… as the book ends Kirsten is heading towards the lights… (I want to know about the lights!!!!) I get that the author may have left us wondering intentionally and eventually (when I am done pouting) I may come to terms with that but for now I feel like there should be a second book to make
me feel it all better.
The things that boggled my brain….
- The Prophet (kudos on who he was… I did not see that coming, probably should have but didn’t) but not really all that scary. Sure he stalks them.. sure he takes a few of them and yeah, one dies, but that was an accident. And then… when the big moment comes and you think “Oh no! This is it.” It is. It that is. Because as soon as it gets a little tense, BAM the Prophet is dead and everyone carries on. Wha?
- Jeevan. I liked him. I wanted to know more about him. We get a hint at what his brother is referring to and then he is dead by his own hand. Jeevan seems ok with it. Ok, I get that… desperate times and all that. Then next time we see Jeevan he has made himself a home in a hotel and has a wife and kid. Huh. I would have liked to see him some how encounter Kirsten again but instead he is like this character we kind of get to know and then the writing is jerked out from under us. I wish we had never met. (Ok, I don’t mean it… I liked Jeevan.) 🙂
- The people in the airport. Yes I get that they were afraid of the flu virus. But after so many years.. wouldn’t you be curious? Wouldn’t you go explore and look to see what happened to towns? Or want something more? Wouldn’t there be empty houses and hotels that one could find to be more suitable living? I understand they were scared in the beginning, but its been twenty years. Suck it up people. Time to rebuild.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked the read a lot. I am actually having a little fun here at the book expense. 🙂 I was just surprised that it was such a peaceful read and for the most part it is just about the lives we had to where they are now. Pieces filter in here and there but nothing pressing… nothing hair-raising. And the Symphony goes from point A to Point B with only a hiccup of action. They find their friends… no harm no foul. They play their music. They heal. They move on.
La te da.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Am I wrong to have wanted more action? Did you love the book? Hate it? or like me thought it was pretty good with a few “huh” moments? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
15 thoughts on “Spoiler Page: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel”
I was curious about Jeevan also….his whole background fascinated me! I also wish we’d learned a bit more about how things went from A to Z outside of Arthur’s little world. It was very much flu epidemic hits in Toronto…then all but 1% of civilization is gone. I wanted a bit more of the how rather than the after.
Yes! They put a lot of foreground into Jeevan and you think it is all going to play out somehow but not really. You are also correct that we dont really see what has happened to the world as a whole.
I agree with your spoiler thoughts, especially about Jeevan. He was a character I really liked in the story and had a huge role in the beginning but then just seemed to disappear. Also the reveal of The Prophet and how he died was anticlimatic for me. This huge build up and written in a way that brought fear but then again, poof it was over. Aside from those two points I thought it was a wonderful book and a breath of fresh air in the dystopian book world.
Sort of engaging book, but not worth the endless “Book of the Year” or whatever accolades. I enjoyed the airport section. Being from Michigan I enjoyed the background but please!! They have one, maybe two handguns in the airport and yet manage to kill numerous deer for numerous years as well as rabbits and other game. I have hunted in my life and you do not shoot rabbits with a handgun and rarely deer (I did have a friend do this but he happened upon a deer drinking in a small pool—pure luck as he said and he is an experienced hunter). Also, where did they get the endless ammunition when she repeatedly states in the book that ammunition ran out? The worst was her saying a character (sorry, forget his name) lived in the UP of Michigan for four years but then got lonely and sick of eating only venison! Only venison? Has she ever been to the UP? Let’s assume this guy had a rifle instead of a handgun. He could kill not only deer, but rabbit (better with a shotgun though), squirrel, grouse, partridge, and turkey. He could also fish for an endless variety of fish in the UP. He could eat leeks, mushrooms, tubers, and other ground food, also berries and lots of apples and other fruit. It makes no sense. I wish authors would think more about the general statement they make. Places like the UP would be especially bountiful after the 15 year or so of no electricity (thus no coal fired plants, a lot less pollution etc). Stuff like that drives me crazy. And all the crazy meetings of people/coincidences —- well John Barth did that well before she did and did it a lot better in “The Sot Weed Factor.”
I thought the book dragged. The idea of a cult and a city in an airport is great. It just didn’t have a payoff worth the sloggy plot. Might make a good movie. I agree with others who feel that it is an overrated book.
I agree with all your points! And yet loved the reading experience. It was only a few days later when I was starting to think why I loved the book so much that I started to question a few of these things.
Could you give a quick summary of the end of the book?
Read up to page 160. Really couldn’t get on with it. I twigged that The Prophet was Arthur’s son already. Decided not to continue. So thanks for this.
Who was the boy who killed the prophet?
I think it was August. It never really was mentioned but Sayid and August were both hiding behind the bushes when The Prophet had discovered Kirsten.
No, it was the boy who was WITH The Prophet. The one who had been a lookout (cooking a squirrel for his dinner) at St. Deborah by the Water. After he shoots The Prophet, he shoots and kills himself, and so there is no more mention of him after that.
Oh Jeez okay makes more sense thank you.
This book gave me such a hard time. I loved it, not going to lie but the second things got intense the prophet died and I literally screamed. I wanted so much more from the prophet and wanted to know more about ‘the light’ and the meaning behind ‘the light’.
And Jeevan, I totally agree! Jeevan came and went and I thought he was supposedly going to be the main character. I wanted to know more about him and maybe know what happened and where he had gone after his brother died. Maybe have some interaction between the Traveling Symphony.
I also wanted more action between Tanya and Arthur and we were only introduced about them near the end. At the end when Tanya gave Arthur a chocolate and then he had said that maybe he ate something bad and felt a bit sick I figured, “well maybe he was poisoned”. Which couldn’t have been it since he felt sick before but how did he randomly have a heart attack? And how did the Georgia Flu randomly occur right after he had died?
I have so many questions..
One note that people in this discussion might find interesting:
In the original manuscript, Jeevan never returns to the story after he leaves Toronto. Mandel apparently felt that one feature of post-collapse life would be people just…
Her editor/publisher felt that readers needed a bit more closure in regards to Jeevan and so Mandel brought Jeevan back into the story. Your responses suggest that they were right.
Also, Mandel apparently felt that having Jeevan meet the Traveling Symphony would have been too convenient. Personally, I agree.
What do you imagine the Traveling Symphony will find when they reach the brightly lit town to the south?