Emily St. John Mandel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A National Book Award Finalist
A PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end.
Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.
apologies hadn’t landed. “I can’t be there, buddy. I would if I could. But aren’t you coming to New York soon? Won’t I see you next week?” Tyler had nothing to say to this. “You’re flying to New York tonight, aren’t you?” “I guess.” “Did you read those comic books I sent you?” Tyler didn’t respond. Arthur sat on the sofa, and rested his forehead in the palm of his hand. “Did you like them, Tyler? Those comic books?” “Yeah.” “Ten minutes,” the stage manager said at the door. “Thank you ten.
punishment for the waste and slaughter of the First World War. But then, in the decades that followed? The flus came every season, but these were weak, inefficient viruses that struck down only the very old, the very young, and the very sick. And then came a virus like an avenging angel, unsurvivable, a microbe that reduced the population of the fallen world by, what? There were no more statisticians by then, my angels, but shall we say ninety-nine point ninety-nine percent? One person remaining
“Yes,” Jeevan said. “I did.” “Why would you?” “I was sick of going to weddings. The pay was better. It was less of a hassle. Why do you ask?” Arthur reached across the table and turned off Jeevan’s tape recorder. “Do you know how tired I am of talking about myself?” “You do give a lot of interviews.” “Too many. Don’t write that I said that. It was easier when it was just theater and TV work. The occasional profile or feature or interview or whatever. But you get successful in movies, and
unspeakable decision, to keep the jet sealed rather than expose a packed airport to a fatal contagion. Don’t think about what enforcing that decision may have required. Don’t think about those last few hours on board. Snow fell every few days after Roy left, but Elizabeth insisted on keeping a runway clear at all times. She was beginning to stare in a terrible way that made everyone afraid of her, so at first she was out there alone, shoveling the snow on Runway Seven by the hour, but then a
“In front of the kid?” Annette was twisting her Lufthansa neck scarf between her fingers. “That’s his mother you’re talking about. Tyler, don’t listen to him.” Tyler only stared at Garrett. “I’m sorry,” Garrett said to Tyler. “I was out of line.” Tyler didn’t blink. “You know,” Clark said, “I think we should consider sending out a scouting party.” The scouts left at dawn on Day One Hundred: Tyrone, Dolores, and Allen, a schoolteacher from Chicago. There was some debate over whether the