Why did I read this book?
I had put this book on my christmas list after hearing so much about it on various podcasts and book award lists. And my Grandma gave it to me! I was super excited to read it, but what had me pick it up almost immediately was the fact that it was our book club’s pick for January.
What is it about?
It starts in the near future at a local production of King Lear. That is the first night of a disease outbreak that kills most of civilization. The book jumps forward to years after the disease took over and follows a group who still performs Shakespeare as a traveling symphony. It goes back and forth in time following different characters, storylines, and how they got to where they are now.
Why you should read it!
I loved this book. Yes, it is in my genre of futuristic/world collapsing, but it focuses more on the characters instead of the state of the world. It makes the whole ending of civilization seem very simple (which is quite terrifying) and the survivors stories seem to be believable. But I think my favorite part of the book is how art was woven through it all, from theater, to music, to writing and drawing they all seem to be a common tie throughout. I love that the author portrays art as still being a focus after the world falls apart. Now, I will admit that not everyone in my book club loved it as much as me. They thought it was OK and a bit weird. One of the issues they had was there wasn’t a main character to follow and they kept getting attached to minor characters. And the jumping back and forth in time made things altogether confusing. But, I loved it and think almost anyone should take a chance on it!