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Station Eleven - HBO Max does Emily St John Mandel


Vespa Alex
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1 hour ago, Doctor Shark said:

Never heard of the book and that trailer made it look incredibly boring. Will wait to see the general consensus. 


The book is astoundingly good - personally I was 50/50 on the trailer, they’ve taken a few liberties with the story (understandably).

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Three episodes in and I'm willing to see the series though. I've quite enjoyed it so far, but I'm also in the "enjoyed book" category.

 

There's been some significant changes in it's transition to TV but they work quite well. I don't remember the book being especially humourous, but there's quite a few moments of black comedy and surrealism in this that work quite well.

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On 18/12/2021 at 23:18, Timmo said:

I know the book seems to be universally loved here but I found it a bit aimless and boring. It might just be that I'm tired of post apocalyptic stuff, though.


Yeah, I felt much the same. Kept waiting for it to build to something but the author was content to meander in circles. I guess it’s one of those books where if you love the writing, the lack of any real ‘plot’ doesn’t matter. 
 

Have to say, I never would’ve expected anyone reading it and saying ‘this would make a great TV show.’ 

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6 hours ago, Garibaldi said:


Yeah, I felt much the same. Kept waiting for it to build to something but the author was content to meander in circles. I guess it’s one of those books where if you love the writing, the lack of any real ‘plot’ doesn’t matter. 


Do you actually know what the word ‘plot’ means? What you’ve written here is complete nonsense.

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4 hours ago, ZOK said:


Do you actually know what the word ‘plot’ means? What you’ve written here is complete nonsense.


Obviously every story has a plot, even if it only consists of someone waking up, drinking tea, then going back to bed. Everyone understands that, but it’s also true that ‘there was no plot’ is shorthand for someone finding a book or a film boring or aimless. Hence my use of quotation marks. 
 

Station Eleven followed the trend of most literary novels I’ve read in that it was all about the journey without any particular destination. It felt realistic in a lot of places, but realism on the page can result in ‘oh, ok. And?’ at least as often as it does a moment of reflection or pathos. I can understand why people may find it effecting, however, as though I have issues with the pace and throughline it certainly wasn’t ineptly written. 

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Sure - but even allowing for an interpretation of words you didn’t use, It wasn’t just your use of the word plot that was nonsensical, it was what you wrote pertaining to it in Station 11.

 

Station 11 is actually very tightly plotted (and a superbly crafted story to boot). It doesn’t ‘meander in circles’, it skilfully weaves timelines and narratives to provide its characters with a meaningful ‘journey’, and chucks a delightful embedded narrative into the pot for good measure.

 

There is really only one legitimate criticism that can be made against it in my view, and that is the awful quality of the pages of the graphic novel. Considering they are supposed to be the result of the character’s endless revisions of a life’s work they are pitifully drawn, and not remotely beautiful. They are at best functional, like the publishers got them drawn by an competent intern rather than a real artist.

 

It’s hard to say how much agency ESJM had over their inclusion, but you have to presume she shares some blame.

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12 hours ago, ZOK said:

Sure - but even allowing for an interpretation of words you didn’t use, It wasn’t just your use of the word plot that was nonsensical, it was what you wrote pertaining to it in Station 11.

 

Station 11 is actually very tightly plotted (and a superbly crafted story to boot). It doesn’t ‘meander in circles’, it skilfully weaves timelines and narratives to provide its characters with a meaningful ‘journey’, and chucks a delightful embedded narrative into the pot for good measure.

 


Sarcasm aside, we’re just not going to see eye to eye on this one. As I say, it was not ineptly written, but while you see a masterful and fulfilling tapestry of timelines I see a circling of events that never had any meaningful pay off. I was quietly impressed with some of the intermingling, I will admit, but that didn’t stop the novel’s conclusion feeling like a ‘pencils down, please’ moment rather than a poignant conclusion. Such as the way the novel’s antagonist is dispatched. Realistic? No doubt. Satisfying? God no. 
 

If you can fully invest in these characters then I could see it being a great novel. To me, however, they were only ever of mild interest, and mild interest didn’t justify all the time spent stitching their lives together. 

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21 minutes ago, Garibaldi said:


Sarcasm aside, we’re just not going to see eye to eye on this one. As I say, it was not ineptly written, but while you see a masterful and fulfilling tapestry of timelines I see a circling of events that never had any meaningful pay off. I was quietly impressed with some of the intermingling, I will admit, but that didn’t stop the novel’s conclusion feeling like a ‘pencils down, please’ moment rather than a poignant conclusion. Such as the way the novel’s antagonist is dispatched. Realistic? No doubt. Satisfying? God no. 
 

If you can fully invest in these characters then I could see it being a great novel. To me, however, they were only ever of mild interest, and mild interest didn’t justify all the time spent stitching their lives together. 


‘It was not ineptly written’. :sherlock:

 

Honestly, none of your ‘criticisms’ make any real sense, if you apply them to the actual novel as it stands. Perhaps they apply more to the one you seem to be imagining - but then I’ve not read that, so I’ll have to bow to your superior knowledge.

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17 minutes ago, ZOK said:


‘It was not ineptly written’. :sherlock:

 

Honestly, none of your ‘criticisms’ make any real sense, if you apply them to the actual novel as it stands. Perhaps they apply more to the one you seem to be imagining - but then I’ve not read that, so I’ll have to bow to your superior knowledge.

 

:rolleyes:

 

Have it your way. I tried to meet you in the middle but if you’d rather respond with smugness and sarcasm then have at it. 

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On 23/12/2021 at 20:11, Garibaldi said:


Sarcasm aside, we’re just not going to see eye to eye on this one. As I say, it was not ineptly written, but while you see a masterful and fulfilling tapestry of timelines I see a circling of events that never had any meaningful pay off. I was quietly impressed with some of the intermingling, I will admit, but that didn’t stop the novel’s conclusion feeling like a ‘pencils down, please’ moment rather than a poignant conclusion. Such as the way the novel’s antagonist is dispatched. Realistic? No doubt. Satisfying? God no. 
 

If you can fully invest in these characters then I could see it being a great novel. To me, however, they were only ever of mild interest, and mild interest didn’t justify all the time spent stitching their lives together. 

I've highlighted this bit because it demonstrates both sides of the argument, it subverts the traditional expectations of these scenarios while at the same time being somewhat underwhelming  by the sort of standards we've come to expect. Personally , I loved it, but I can understand those who don't.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't read the books but I've been watching this over the Xmas period and I think it's really great. It's not too heavy on the pandemic stuff. It actually reminds me of the more drama/humanistic elements of something like The Last of Us. It's quite funny in places too! Surprised it's not being talked about more. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is really good! Went into it knowing absolutely nothing but thought the first episode was very very good. Episodes two and three seemed like a bit of a let down compared to the opener but from episode 4 onwards it's been great.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A shame this is hidden away on Starzplay because it’s fantastic in my opinion. 
 

Up to episode 5 now which I think was maybe the best yet, or certainly since the first. 
 

Wish I’d known it was weekly though which would have made me wait until it was all available and therefore only need to sub one month. Think I’ll get stung for 2 or even 3 and not much else on there I really want to watch. 

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I've just watched the first one (not read the book or watched the above trailer).

 

It's ok, not an awful lot is happening, and I'm not convinced the lead guy from EastEnders is going to become a character I'm going to enjoy watching, but skimming what's been written above it looks like it's well favoured.

 

It does get an extra point from me as it uses one of my favourite Bob Dylan tracks at the end. 

 

 

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15 hours ago, OneDvBmbr said:

A shame this is hidden away on Starzplay because it’s fantastic in my opinion. 
 

Up to episode 5 now which I think was maybe the best yet, or certainly since the first. 
 

Wish I’d known it was weekly though which would have made me wait until it was all available and therefore only need to sub one month. Think I’ll get stung for 2 or even 3 and not much else on there I really want to watch. 

 

I finished that episode last night, and it was as you say the best one yet. It explains so much in that episode and although it gives away a lot it's done really well and there are some really tense moments.

 

I'm a little pissed off that I've worked out who the big bad is before the halfway point, but I'm hoping there's a reason behind giving us clues so easy. 

 

I think I'm going to have to read the book when I've finished these last five episodes off, even if it's to see the differences.

 

Also, I've just realized that "The Composer" is Tank Girl 😮

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finished this off last night, it's a pretty worthy adaptation of the book and the changes they made for television make sense, enjoyed it pretty much throughout.

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