Station Eleven – A Post Pandemic Dystopian Novel


I ignored my general aversion to dystopian novels, and read Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.   It was completely compelling, and I’m a huge fan.  Now I am hoping there will be a movie version and a sequel.  This unique novel goes back and forth between the pre-pandemic lives of individual characters who shared some connections and the post-pandemic period featuring a ragged group of survivors.  The sense of what is missed when society is just gone pervades this beautiful book.  The survivors keep on going, but the fabric of relationships is tattered and keeps dissolving.  This is a troubling tale of how people think and act after everything on which they based their lives vanishes overnight.    It is very much a story of individuals — this is not a book about an heroic family that somehow muddles through with brave and noble parents and plucky children.  Here the focus is on a captivating collection of individuals and what they are thinking, and that is what makes this such a stellar read.


Tigerman! An Oddly Charming Dystopian Tale


Nick Harkaway’s Tigerman – A Novel, is a pretty strange book and unlike anything I have ever read.  Environmental disaster has struck and the population of Mancreu, a doomed island is fleeing.  Lester Ferris has been sent to half-heartedly mind the British portion of the retreat.   Ferris is ex-army, bored and feeling pretty useless, but he has befriended a young boy.  As tensions rise amidst increasingly vicious, yet seemingly random acts of violence, Ferris and the boy formulate a unique response.

The whole thing is a fast-paced and well-written mystery set within an environmental dystopia.  Lester Ferris and the boy are both great characters, and so I was hooked.  What I liked best was the way their friendship developed and the juxtapositions of their evolving relationship.  “Never assume” pretty much sums up this great read.