This is the author’s fourth novel, but her first with a post-Apocalyptic setting. It starts out with the heart attack death on stage of a fading movie star who is playing King Lear at a Toronto theater. Jeevan, a member of the audience, rushes onto the stage to perform CPR on the dying actor. Later that evening Jeevan is called by an old friend, a doctor at a local emergency room who warns him about patients arriving with a virulent flu strain who are dying after only a few hours. The story next picks up fifteen years later when 99% of the world’s population has died from this Russian flu and civilization as we know it has collapsed. There are a few alternating story lines which converge by the novel’s conclusion. I found this novel to be compelling and very good.
Emily St. John Mandel will discuss her book at the Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 24, 2015.
RATING: * * * * Very, very good
Reviewed by: kh
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