“The Dead Zone” | “Station Eleven”
“The Dead Zone” by Stephen King

I’m actually not sure where to file this book. It’s not scary, it’s a bit sci-fi, mildly disturbing in parts...mostly just a well-written and creatively thoughtful examination of an unnatural phenomenon and its resultant effect on society. I really enjoyed the build up and a lot of the first third of the book. But I didn’t fully dig the direction the ending took.

For all Stephen King fans--absolutely you should read this one. It’s a classic King novel and has a lot of his style and expert ability to weave several tales into a uniquely cohesive story.

For non-King fans, I don’t think this particular story would really suck you in like the “Dark Tower” series, or “The Stand”.

If you happen to like political thrillers--this would be a surprising find for you and I think you’d enjoy King’s particular take on elections and what could happen if a person could see the future. How would this influence their thoughts and actions if they knew certain things about the capabilities...and dangers...of a candidate?

“The Dead Zone” is definitely for mature/adult readers due to mature content and complexity of the plot.


“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel

This is a very intriguing take on a post apocalyptic world...asking the questions, how do we bring art back to a destroyed world? And is this important--is artistic expression critical to our survival as a species? I would say yes, and I believe that Miss St. John Mandel agrees. Thus, we have this well-written and thoughtful novel.

It’s unique for her takes on what the world could look like after a devastating illness suddenly and quickly wipes out nearly everyone. The characters in the story band together, travel roughly, and eke out a life in a departed world. They search old houses and find small establishments of people. Some safe, some not so much. This was written in 2014, by the way. And it is truly scary to see how accurate she was in predicting the (Covid) future.

The impact of “Station Eleven” comes in the back stories of the characters and the development of them as people. It’s really about looking at a post-apocalypse world from a human standpoint and wondering what it would be like. What would I be...how would I exist and hold tight the shreds of my past. How would I feel about what the future of the world could or should be...would I want to help? Would I want to create? Would I want to find community?

All these questions and more are pondered in this excellent novel. Plus there are some chills and thrills woven in as well--creating an excellent book for anyone who likes good literature.

Oh and I should mention this is a HUGELY successful novel with many awards and thousands of reviews on Amazon. So yeah--it’s critically acclaimed and popular, as it should be. Also there’s a series on HBO, based on the book.

“Station Eleven” is appropriate and recommended for high school readers and up--due to the chilling content of the world being wiped out by a flu pandemic...and a complex plot. But it’s not scary or gory; i.e. no zombies or cheap scare tactics. Just an examination of life, hope, and the pursuit of creative self-expression.

Happy Reading--and try not to worry about the future too much, it can't all be bad. But it is interesting to read about what COULD happen, so we can takes steps NOW to be better...