Abrams, J. J.

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
"A young woman picks up a book left behind by a stranger. Inside it are his margin notes, which reveal a reader entranced by the story and by its mysterious author. She responds with notes of her own, leaving the book for the stranger, and so begins an unlikely conversation that plunges them both into the unknown. The book: Ship of Theseus, the final novel by a prolific but enigmatic writer named V.M. Straka, in which a man with no past is shanghaied onto a strange ship with a monstrous crew and launched onto a disorienting and perilous journey. The writer: Straka, the incendiary and secretive subject of one of the world's greatest mysteries, a revolutionary about whom the world knows nothing apart from the words he wrote and the rumors that swirl around him. The readers: Jennifer and Eric, a college senior and a disgraced grad student, both facing crucial decisions about who they are, who they might become, and how much they're willing to trust another person with their passions, hurts, and fears."--Slipcase. The chronicle of two readers finding each other in the margins of a book and enmeshing themselves in a deadly struggle between forces they don't understand.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780316201643
Branch Call Number: FICTION ABRAMS 2013
Characteristics: xiv, 456 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm +,Konfidentiell letter (2 leaves), [insert between p. viii-ix] ; Pollard State University : VMS accused of... ( 1 leaf), [insert between p. 10-11] ; Xerox copy of journal article (1 leaf), [insert between p. 20-21] ; Newspaper clipping (2 p.), [insert between p. 32 -33] ; Telegram (2 leaves), [insert between p. 54-55] ; 1 Newspaper clipping/memo (1 leaf), [insert between p. 68-69] ; Letter from Desjardins (1 leaf), [insert between p. 86-87] ; Letter from Jen (4 p.), [insert between p. 100-101] ; 1 Brazil postcard [insert between p. 112-113] ; 1 photograph of stone wall [insert between p. 130-131] ; 1 Birds of Brazil postcard [insert between p.178-179] ; 1 Postcard of palms [insert between p.190-191] ; 1 Postcard of a beach [insert between p. 192-193] ; 1 Postcard 'Pictorial Brazil' (20 April near Marau) [insert between p. 200-201] ; So... My Uncle Zeke (5 p. on yellow, legal paper), [insert between p. 202-203] ; 1 photograph of woman [insert between p. 242-243] ; 1 newspaper clipping within 1 greeting card [insert between p. 256-257] ; 1 map on napkin [insert between p. 306-307] ; 1 In memoriam card [insert between p. 360-361] ; Letter from J [4 p.], [insert between p. 376-377] ; Letter from Esmerlinda Pega (1 leaf), [insert between p. 416-417] ; 1 decoder wheel [insert between end leaf and p. 3 of cover]
Additional Contributors: Dorst, Doug Author


From Library Staff

This was a gift because I love ephemera in my books. I'm just not sure how to approach it. Shall I read through the text first? Read the writing in the margins first? Have a look through the extras? Or try and read them altogether?

For the ephemera-lover on your list. The tale of of two readers finding each other in the margins of a book. This is a story within a story, filled with lovely and interesting ephemera. -Karen

"The chronicle of two readers finding each other in the margins of a book and enmeshing themselves in a deadly struggle between forces they don't understand."

From the critics

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Aug 30, 2014
  • ABenoit rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved it. The story was awesome nad the annotations were hilarious

Feb 28, 2014
  • VIRLFavouriteBooks rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book reminded me of why I love to read. How it felt to read books passed down to me in school. Why a book is so much more than its contents. (There is also no need to keep the "extra" parts in a particular spot. Each is a treasure for the concept, and all but 1 are unnecessary to the narrative).

Feb 21, 2014
  • claireswazey rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Very ingenious concept. The only problem with getting this from the library is that there were a number of little notes and enclosures and such that are supposed to be in the book. Only a couple of them were in this book- they probably fell out, since they aren't attached. Also, the dust jacket with the S wasn't on the book. So I was confused as could be when I picked up the book at the library. That being said, I really liked it. Though I was more interested in the margin notes and other correspondence than the text in the seeming original book. Great story, great concept.

Feb 05, 2014
  • becker rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

4 stars for the story and another half star for being so much fun (not to be confused with a funny book - which it is not). This book is creative, mysterious, challenging and unique which all adds up to a great reading experience. Those who prefer not to juggle multiple storylines should steer clear.

Jan 24, 2014

First, inserts keep fall out of the book. Keeping them in the right places are impossible! I hope the CPL and other libraries try to bind them in place. Another than that, a good story loved the relationship between the two main characters. You could spend all day reading the book and those little inserts.

Jan 21, 2014
  • JCLJaredH rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed both stories in S. It was fun to see Eric and Jen progress not only in their relationship to each other, but in their character development. The idea of a story told in margin notes and inserts appeals to me and Dorst has put a lot of development into a small medium. Also, as creepy as Ship of Theseus is, I enjoyed that tale as well. Be aware that this is not a story for everyone. The inserts can be challenging and possibly detract from the tale (my recommendation is to remove the inserts, and place a sticky note where they are supposed to be. This makes it easier to read). For me, it is one of those reads that you will either love or hate. There is no middle ground here.


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Aug 20, 2014
  • gcwakim rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"What begins at the water shall end there, and what ends there shall once more begin"

Aug 20, 2014
  • gcwakim rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"What begins at the water shall end there, and what ends there shall once more begin"


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