Welcome to the GT Book Club! Today we’ll be discussing Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel.

I’ll be filling in for your regular hosts, HoneyHeart and spectacularraptor. Thanks to both of you for letting me host this week, and for all your other efforts that keep the book club running.

Here are a few questions to get you started. Minor spoilers below:

What did you think of the tone of the book? I thought this was a nice change from other post apocalyptic fiction I’ve encountered, which tend to be either utterly bleak (The Road, The Passage), or very much focused on action/surviving a threat (The Walking Dead, Mad Max, most YA). I attribute this to the nature of the disease, which took out enough of the population to leave plenty of resources and not enough people to have huge struggles for power.

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Did you enjoy the coincidental nature of the intersecting stories, or were you put off by it? I don’t know that the book has a main character, but it certainly has a central character in Arthur Leander, and I liked the way the other characters and storylines branched away from him like the spokes of a wagon wheel.

Side note: Is anyone familiar enough with King Lear to speak to parallels between the two stories?

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What did you think of the idea that Shakespeare’s plays were the most popular with the Traveling Symphony’s audiences? What else do you think might have reached the point of cultural saturation enough to be equally or more popular?

Look around you. What’s one item within arm’s reach that you would like to add to the Museum of Civilization? Not your smart phone; we have plenty of those already.

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I’ll leave you with this cool sample comic created by Nathan Burton in conjunction with his book cover: