Sunday, December 28, 2014
Diversion: STATION ELEVEN, Emily St. John Mandel -- Not a Mystery, but Mysterious
Emily St. John Mandel's much-promoted novel STATION ELEVEN begins in the middle -- not just in the middle of stage, in the middle of a performance of King Lear, where actor Arthur Leander is about to die. But in the middle of the timeline of this dystopian novel. And whether the dystopia is defined by the Hollywood of our century, or the survivalist mode that follows a dramatic plague outburst upon the earth, is open to question.
But there's never a moment in the entire adventure when there's any doubt about the integrity and passion of Kirsten Raymonde, once a child actor, later a performer on the edge of the known world. And for all the desperation and violence of her new world, Kirsten's one of several people well worth liking in this tapestry of rediscovery.
Renewed. Refreshed. Bathed in an unearthly light that sings. That's where my "take a holiday" plunge into this non-mystery landed me. I am so glad.
[PS -- like graphic novels? you may be amazed at how Mandel's fictionalized one take life in the center of this book.]