Saturday, January 22, 2022

 Dear Great Book Guru,  As we are completing the second year of the pandemic, we all wonder how long will it last… and then I heard about a book written years ago that tells the story of a pandemic that lasted decades.  Do you know anything about it and- if so- worth reading?  Pandemic Weary

Dear Pandemic Weary,  Yes, the book is STATION ELEVEN  by Emily St. John Mandel and a TV series based on it has recently aired.   The story begins in Canada during a performance of “King Lear” and the actors we meet will reappear throughout the novel. As the play ends, a devastating virus attacks and millions of people quickly succumb – some whom we have just met. The survivors spread out over the United States and form unlikely communities- some live for decades in an airport, others form a religious cult, while actors from the original Shakespeare group band together in a “traveling symphony” that attempts to bring a touch of civilization in the midst of enormous despair.  There is a mystery that works its way throughout – a set of comic books that connects many of the survivors.  While the novel is terrifying on many levels, there is a sense that humanity prevails with the opening tragedy of “King Lear” giving way to the comedy of “Midsummer Night’s Dream. “ A difficult topic in difficult times but recommended!

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