i am going to put this book in a time capsule, to be opened in fifty years, with the following note:
the world is almost entirely terrible right now, except for this book.
and if there is anyone left alive on the planet fifty years from now to dig it up, they, too, will declare this book a masterpiece.
because yoo-mons don’t change, not really, and this book proves once again that emily st. john mandel has a deeper, broader understanding than most about what makes humanity tick, and has graced us with another panoramic polynarrative of ambition, guilt, human frailty and the whole sordid mess of us; good and bad and trying and failing. this complex, deeply absorbing story of overlapping lives, connections and consequences, and how everyone’s a little shitty sometimes is exactly what we need right now; something neutrally observed, yet still empathetic; rich and referential and perfect.
i read this book back in november and i didn’t have the words then to convey how good it was and now here we are in march a week away from its publication date and the only thing different is that i’d probably remove the words “almost entirely” from my time capsule message.
coronavirus may be keeping libraries and bookstores* closed right now—maybe the events of Station Eleven are heading our way (unless—fingers crossed—we’re in the counterlife), but don’t let social distancing prevent you from reading this book. many indie stores are set up for online ordering or curbside pickup and if you’re an audio person, THIS IS YOUR TIME!
it’s every bit as good as i wanted it to be.
* not mine, though! and if i get sick, it’ll all be worth it to make sure you people have enough books to read in your quarantined safety.