Imagine a lot of blah combined with even more of blah, add a dollop of blah to the mix and put a cherry on top (the cherry actually being even more blah) and do you know what you get? Exactly ... Station Eleven!
The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic world, 20 years after the outbreak of a devastating flu that has killed 99,99% of the worlds population. But instead of explaining this post-apocalyptic world to the fullest, St. John Mandel jumps between the present and the past, telling us what has happened before the world ended and what has happened after the outbreak.
At the center of everything there is Arthur, an Hollywood actor, who isn´t going to expirience the flu outbreak, because he dies right before it happens. All the other main characters are somehow connected to Arthur and these connections doesn´t stop with Arthur himself, there are also a lot of items that make their appearance throughout the book in the hands of those different characters.
Yes, it is one of these books where everything is connected. I like stories with these elements (Cloud Atlas being one of my favorite books), but the author has to pull it off. St. John Mandel disappointed me in that respect. I don´t like when an item is mentioned and ...whoosh... in the next chapter she jumps back twenty years in time just to tell me that a particular character is in possession of said item. I don´t like to get whacked over the head in such a blatant way.
However, the connections aren´t what bothered me the most about this novel, it´s the story. What is the message of this book? Seriously, I haven´t gotten a clue. Is there a deeper meaning hidden inside these pages? Are these connections crucial to some point that St. John Mandel is trying to make? There isn´t a plot to speak of and it´s something I wouldn´t mind, as long as I know what this book is about (probably it´s about the people and their struggle for their humanity and blah, blah, blah). Thankfully I don´t care what the message of this book is so I won´t get sleepless nights over it. But still, this book leaves me with the biggest of meh-feelings.
As for the characters: I didn´t like a single one of them that´s all I´m going to say about them.
This book is a pretentious mess and a huge disappointment. Another one of these hypes that I clearly don´t get.