“Survival is insufficient”
The story starts with the death of Arthur Leander, a famous actor, and marks the start of a deadly pandemic. The Georgia Flu sweeps around the world killing most of its population. In the new world the few survivors live in small communities. The Traveling Symphony, a group of actors, are traveling from one community to the next and perform Shakespeare, King Lear is their favourite play, and classical music for the people. We jump back and forth in time, getting to see how life before and after the flu has been. How Arthur falls in and out of love. How Jeevan, the man who tried to save Leander’s life, watches the newscasters say their final good-byes. And Kirsten finds herself confronted with a strange prophet.
I got this book sometime last year. Being a sucker for apocalypse stories, this book was perfect for me. But this isn’t your typical dystopian novel and that’s why I liked it so much. Instead of focusing on how to survive, its focus is on why to survive. Why do we travel when it would be safer to stay rooted? Why create art when no one would see it anyway? Why are there stories we never get sick hearing? What is worth preserving? What is good?