Buried Deep in Books

洋書と英語についてつれづれと語るブログです。超個人的な感想文載せてます。

Station Eleven 読了

ちまちまと読んでいたStation Eleven ですが、先週末(金曜の夜~土曜日)でまとめてがががーーーっと読み、読了致しました~ 

Station Eleven

Station Eleven

 

私は基本感想文をまず「英語」で書くので(なんでそんな真似を。。。w)、今から書く日本語での感想は英語版で書き足りなかったことの補足みたいなものですが、感想行ってみましょう!

まず、読み始めてしばらくしてかなりショックだったことは「pandemic部分が短い!」ということです。
こちらはpost-apocalyptic (アルマゲドンみたいな世界の終末的なことが起こったあとの世界を描くもの)だし、このpandemic の元凶、Georgia Fluは羅漢すると致死率が非常に高いしほぼ潜伏期間がないので、羅漢するとものの数時間で死に至るというまさにlethalなウイルス。よってバタバタバタ~~と人々が死んでいく=描写が短い、というのは分かる。分かる、けど! 個人的にはそのPandemicに至るまでの人々のパニック加減とか、そういう狂気乱舞みたいなのが味わいたかったのでかなりがっかりしました。

しかしながら、読み進めていくとこの本の本当の面白さは pandemicそのものではないということが徐々に見えてきました。
どちらかというとこの本はGeorgia Fluによって人類の大半以上が滅ぼされた後の世界をどうやって生き抜いていくか、という物語だからです。
本の途中ではとあるキャラクターを通じ、どのように人々が命を失い、それに伴って文明が息絶えて行ったのかも描かれており、この辺はなかなか読み応えがあります。

そんなGeorgia Fluを生き抜いた(羅漢しなかった、という意味)人々がどのように文明の欠片もない、荒れ荒んだ世界で生きていくのか、それが残り90%を費やして丁寧に書いてあります。

面白いな、と思ったのはこの本は意外にもcharacter-driven だということ。何人かのメインキャラクターがいて、彼らの過去、命を落とす最後の瞬間に至るまで細かく書いているんですよね。別にみんながみんなpandemicに関係しているわけではないのですが、彼らの描写を通じて「あ、prophet はこいつだったのか!」とか後のストーリー展開につながる部分もあるので、非常に面白い展開の仕方をしている本だなぁと思いました。

タイムラインがまず大きく pre-collapse, post-collapseに分けられ、さらにフォーキャスするキャラクターによってまた過去現在。。。とあっちゃこっちゃ飛ぶので初めは混乱するかもですが、次第に慣れてきて気にならなくなるのも上手い。どっちかというと時系列よりもキャラクターの行動にinvested されていくので気にならなくなるとでもいいましょうか。

ところどころスリリングな展開もあるので(あんまり多くないけど)、最初は不安でしたが最後まで飽きずに読めました。というかオーディオブックで最後ら辺は聞いてました。(塗り絵アプリしながら延々聴いてたという方が正解ww←こういう時オーディオブックは便利ね)

個人的に一番ググッときたのは文明の灯火が生き続けていた事を知るシーン。
あれは描写が脳裏に浮かんできたなぁ。うまいな、と思いました。

 

それ以外の感想については英語版を載せておきますが、私みたいにPandemicによる興奮を求めて手を出すとがっかりするかも。どちらかというと焦点はその後の世界を生き抜いていくキャラクター、そして命を落としたキャラクター達の人生についてなので。

でも、読んで損はないと思います。さとみさん (@Zurappe)、ありがとう!

 

Although this book didn't start off with the way I had initially anticipated which I'll come back later, I would say this - this is a well-written, intriguing post-apocalyptic book casting its focus on survival and re-building civilization.

First and foremost, let's talk about the niggle that I had with this book; I set off reading this book expecting a huge, massive explosion of pandemic that comes with a total frenzy, so it was pretty disappointing to find the actual descriptions of pandemic only go as far as 10% of the book. Granted, this Georgia Flu is massively lethal, killing off hundreds of thousands of people with incredibly short incubation period; that explains the brevity of the pandemic descriptions, I’ll give you that, but I still would have liked it a bit more slow-going with mounting tension and thrills leading toward the implosion of the pandemic.

Aside from that, one of the things that I found interesting was the style in which this story is narrated.
This book is loosely divided into two parts - pre-collapse and post-collapse and each parts have their own flow of time.
I’m familiar with books with multiple timelines where a story goes back and forth, back and forth, but what I believe separates this book from other books is that each timeline comes with a certain main character, and as you read on, you no longer follow the timelines, you follow and get invested in the character that each chapter focuses on instead.
The jumping back and forth timelines might baffle you and make you feel disoriented at first, but I assure you, you’ll get used to it. It’s only in the beginning that you would feel overwhelmed by the number of characters, in particular, the Traveling Symphony members. You might feel you need to remember each and every one of them, but rest assured, the story will guide you who to keep track of along the way, you’re in safe hands. So don’t fret about it.

Another thing I found impressive is the dramas take place in this book.
Contrary to my initial expectations, this book doesn’t focus on the pandemic itself nor how it happened, rather, it focuses on the characters who get killed in the pandemic and those who survived the collapse. This is not what I was expecting from this book. Like I mentioned earlier, I was expecting a super-crazy, total frenzy over a madly lethal virus. Instead, this book gives you a glimpse of what were in the characters’ minds on their last moments, and how those who were spared from the collapse strive to survive the post-apocalyptic world, a world where hardly anything is left that’s reminiscent of the pre-collapse era.

The descriptions here are also very intriguing. Through actions of a certain character, you'll get to see how the civilization dies out bit by bit, how the whole system and utility stop functioning. The execution feels so realistic and made me feel as if I were witnessing it happen right in front of my eyes. Brilliant.

Those two pillars of the story are narrated and woven in a very interesting way, sometimes simultaneously or back to back, sometimes they aren’t. Either way, we definitely get the feel of “inching closer” to the truth, or secrets as we read along and that makes this book such a page-turner, making us axious to get down to the bottom of things as fast as possible. I read the latter part of the book almost non-stop.

In some parts, you may find the pacing a bit slow-going, but the puzzle pieces are nicely placed so as not to make you feel bored. There are always some intrigues thrown in wherever you are in the book. I found the story-building quite clever and refreshing.

The last several chapters were especially rewarding; the flame of civilization hasn’t died out nor diminished. It’s been kept alive. I’m now curious to know how they rebuild the world from there.

All in all, despite the initial glitch, I enjoyed reading this book and it’s totally worth reading.
If you don’t set out for reading this book seeking for thrills and tension as I did, I think you’ll like this book.
Just bear in mind this is a story on survival and rebuilding civilization, and it’s pretty character-driven, which is well-executed in my opinion.

I’ll give this book 3.5 stars.