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Extended Audio Sample Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Emily St. John Mandel Narrator: Kirsten Potte Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding 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, Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded, and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all.

A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Though it centers on civilization’s collapse in the aftermath of a devastating flu, this mesmerizing novel isn’t just apocalyptic fantasy—it’s also an intricately layered character study of human life itself. Jumping back and forth between the decades before and after the pandemic, the narrative interlaces several individuals’ stories, encompassing a universe of emotions and ultimately delivering a view of life that’s both chilling and jubilant.”

    People magazine

  • “Ms. Mandel…writ[es] with cool intelligence and poised understatement. Her real interest is in examining friendships and love affairs and the durable consolations of art.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Emily St. John Mandel’s tender and lovely new novel, Station Eleven…miraculously reads like equal parts page-turner and poem…The genius of Mandel’s fourth novel…is that she lives up to those words. This is not a story of crisis and survival. It’s one of art and family and memory and community and the awful courage it takes to look upon the world with fresh and hopeful eyes.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Spine-tingling…Ingenious…Ms. Mandel gives the book some extra drama by positioning some of her characters near the brink of self-discovery as disaster approaches…Ms. Mandel is able to tap into the poignancy of lives cut short at a terrible time—or, in one case, of a life that goes on long after wrongs could be righted.”

    New York Times

  • “In this genre-blurring dystopian novel, set in the near future…a gorgeous retelling of King Lear unfolds through the story of Arthur’s life and Kirsten’s attempt to stay alive in this surprisingly beautiful tale of human relationships amid almost total devastation.”

    Washington Post

  • “At once terrible and tender, dark and hopeful, Station Eleven is a tragically beautiful novel that both mourns and mocks the things we cherish.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • Station Eleven is a dystopian novel that never resorts to zombies or CGI-like pyrotechnics to reveal its characters.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “So impressive…Station Eleven is terrifying, reminding us of how paper-thin the achievements of civilization are. But it’s also surprisingly—and quietly—beautiful…A superb novel. Unlike most postapocalyptic works, it leaves us not fearful for the end of the world but appreciative of the grace of everyday existence.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “This imaginative, dazzling read is so eerily timely that it both terrifies and seduces.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Ambitious, fantastical storytelling.”

    New York magazine

  • “Mandel’s vision is not only achingly beautiful but also startlingly plausible, exposing the fragile beauty of the world we inhabit. In the burgeoning postapocalyptic literary genre, Mandel’s transcendent, haunting novel deserves a place alongside The Road, The Passage, and The Dog Stars.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Survivors and victims of a pandemic populate this quietly ambitious take on a post-apocalyptic world where some strive to preserve art, culture and kindness…Mandel’s solid writing and magnetic narrative make for a strong combination in what should be a breakout novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “St. John Mandel finds a unique point of departure from which to examine civilization’s wreckage…St. John Mandel’s examination of the connections between individuals with disparate destinies makes a case for the worth of even a single life.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “In this suspenseful and haunting novel…feels like something special and fresh: a story that occasionally has the adrenaline of The Hunger Games, bolstered by gorgeous sentences and complex characters who mourn for the fallen world, yet find joy in what remains.”


  • Station Eleven is a firework of a novel. Elegantly constructed and packed with explosive beauty, it’s full of life and humanity and the aftershock of memory.”

    Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls

  • Station Eleven is the kind of book that speaks to dozens of the readers in me—the Hollywood devotee, the comic book fan, the cult junkie, the love lover, the disaster tourist. It is a brilliant novel, and Emily St. John Mandel is astonishing.”

    Emma Straub, author of The Vacationers

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2014
  • Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2014
  • A Washington Post Top 10 Book of 2014
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Christian Science Monitor Best Book, Editors Pick
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2014
  • One of Audible’s Best Audiobooks of 2014: Editors' Pick
  • A Huffington Post Best Book of 2014
  • Selected for the 2015 ALA Listen List for Outstanding Audiobook Narration
  • A September 2014 LibraryReads Pick
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