Book - 2013
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"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.
"S., conceived by filmmaker J.J. Abrams and written by award-winning novelist Doug Dorst, is 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. It is also Abrams and Dorst's love letter to the written word."--Slipcase.
Publisher: [New York] : Mulholland Books/Little, Brown, [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 pages viii-ix] + Pollard State University : VMS accused of ... (1 leaf) [insert between pages 10-11] + Xerox copy of journal article (1 leaf) [insert between pages 20-21] + Newspaper clipping (2 pages) [insert between pages 32 -33] + Telegram (2 leaves) [insert between pages 54-55] + 1 newspaper clipping/memo (1 leaf) [insert between pages 68-69] + Letter from Desjardins (1 leaf) [insert between pages 86-87] + Letter from Jen (4 pages) [insert between pages 100-101] + 1 Brazil postcard [insert between pages 112-113] + 1 photograph of stone wall [insert between pages 130-131] + 1 Birds of Brazil postcard [insert between pages 178-179] + 1 postcard of palms [insert between pages 190-191] + 1 postcard of a beach [insert between pages 192-193] + 1 Pictorial Brazil postcard (20 April near Marau) [insert between pages 200-201] + So ... My Uncle Zeke (5 pages) [insert between pages 202-203] + 1 photograph of woman [insert between pages 242-243] + 1 newspaper clipping within 1 greeting card [insert between pages 256-257] + 1 map on napkin [insert between pages 306-307] + 1 in memoriam card [insert between pages 360-361] + Letter from J (4 pages) [insert between pages 376-377] + Letter from Esmerlinda Pega (1 leaf) [insert between pages 416-417] + 1 decoder wheel [insert between end leaf and pages 3 of cover]
Additional Contributors: Dorst, Doug - Author


From Library Staff

You are not the first person to have read this book...

There's not really another book like this one. It combines a traditional narrative with a second story in the form of notes scribbled in the margins by two readers of the main narrative, in a story that also features clues online and in real life. It demands a lot of the reader, but it's rich and... Read More »

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."

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ArapahoeLesley Nov 23, 2016

This book was a lot of work and I probably shouldn't have tried to read it on vacation. It took me a lot longer to read than most books and is definitely not for the casual reader. I personally enjoyed the constant flip within the 3 stories but was left a bit miffed that at the end as I still have no idea who Straka is!

JCLHopeH Nov 16, 2016

I really wanted to like this book. I figured I'd love it. And maybe I do, but the jury is still out. I confess, I renewed this book 10 times from the library, returned it, checked it out again, and finally finished after another 10 renewals. The supplemental pieces that go along with the book are interesting, and I love the concept of the story in the margins surrounding the story in the book. It was so close to being great but never quite grabbed me.

Aug 30, 2014

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

VIRLFavouriteBooks Feb 28, 2014

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 05, 2014

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.

JCLJaredH Jan 21, 2014

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.

mwaxenberg Jan 13, 2014

I second Telstar2's comment. The inserts tend to fall out of the book. Keeping them in the right places (assuming there ARE right places) is nearly impossible, and they are certain to get lost over time. I hope NYPL will bind them in to prevent loss, although I think it may have been the authors' intention to have readers encounter the inserts at different times - hence the decision not to bind them into place.

I should add that the production quality of S. is fantastic. A friend who deals in rare books and prints - a fellow not easily impressed - was stunned by the effects, like fake aging of the paper and of older pencil marks, a coffee stain, the use of color, etc. The book is a true multimedia mystery. Didn't love the ending, but I sort of understand the message behind it.

ext212 Nov 21, 2013

I can't even imagine how the Kindle version would look like!

Telstar2 Nov 17, 2013

S. comes with inserts that aren't attached. Despite the fact that I think I was probably the first person to have gotten this particular copy of S., one was already missing. After a while, I have no doubt they will all be gone.

I read speculation on a message board that libraries would bind these materials in before lending out the book. Shame that the NYPL didn't do that, or at least put the book in a sleeve.


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Aug 20, 2014

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

Aug 20, 2014

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


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