Station Eleven

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

Oh man. Oh wow.

An unqualified triumph. 
I went into the book, as often I do, with little foreknowledge of story, other than some of the little subheading labels that online bloggers like to apply for cross-referencing purposes:dystopian, armageddon, pandemic, book club selection. I got a good feeling about the book, just a really good vibe off it. Maybe it would be as fantastic as The Girl with All the Gifts
But no, this one is fantasticker.
I hesitate to tell you anything about Station Eleven, knowing that if you're reading this, you're quite likely planning to read the book, in which case I can only spoil lovely literary moments that await you. So let's talk about something completely tangential, instead.
I may be the only person guilty of this, but there are a few books that I hold so dear and that speak to me on such profound levels, that if I were to meet someone, say, like my next door neighbor Ben, who finds The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles "boring," henceforth an indestructible barrier is erected between us. Like me, Ben may have a wide variety of food allergies, he may quietly worry about Hillary Clinton's political baggage, and perhaps he even daydreams about retiring to Lincoln, Montana, but. BUT. Tragically, in our lifetimes, Ben and I can never be more than close acquaintances. Oh, I am always polite as pie to the man - don't get me wrong! Ben has a wonderful good nature and pleasant smile. We happily chat about sports cars and trade our recipes for quinoa salad. We take turns shoveling the front walk in winter and collect each other's mail when we're on vacation. The deepest levels of human intimacy, however - those will forever elude us. Because one night, Ben went on Goodreads and wrote a scathing review of a book very precious to me. Why, Ben, why? Did you even read the whole thing? Because I think, BEN, based on your cursory analysis of Sheltering Sky's exquisite denouement, that you SKIMMED the last three chapters, didn't you, Ben? Admit it! And if you'd bothered to research the book, you'd have noted, BEN, that Bowles began his draft with the scene of Port's death, and that the "incoherence" of the prose in Chapter 23 is actually a manifestation of Port's illness. I mean, c'mon, Ben! And by the way- golden raisins are way too sweet for quinoa salad, douchebag. Hmph.