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One of Maxim Jakubowski's Books of the Year 2013.
Maxim Jakubowski's December 2013 Book of the Month.
Some books need to be more than actually read: they have to be experienced. This is one of them. Conceived by 'Lost' maestro Abrams and written by Dorst, S. is a book within a book within a book and so ad infinitum. Inside the box in which it comes is a facsimile of an old library book called SHIP OF THESEUS by mysterious author V.M. Slatka, a pulp fiction novel full of mystery and intrigue. Then, inside the book are artefacts: letters, postcards, maps, telegrams, newspaper cuttings and, in the margins of the novel, hundreds of annotations in two hands which tell their own investigative and romantic story. This is interactive fiction with a profound sense of wonder and the reader is dragged into its fascinating universe, a spider's web whose hypnotic attraction is impossible to break. It's silly, touching and enigmatic and revives your faith in the powers of fiction. In addition, the whole assemblage is a wonderfully visual and tactile object like no other. A gift that is not just for Xmas!
One book. Two readers. A world of mystery, menace and desire. 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 on 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 rumours 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. 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.
'S. is at the heart of Abrams' aesthetic vision... Not only do we get a novel, Ship of Theseus, purportedly by a VM Straka - about a man shanghaied onto a mysterious boat with a demonic crew - the copy in the reader's hand is heavily annotated by two other readers, Jennifer and Eric, who are attempting to make sense of the text and themselves, as well as the enigmatic figure of Straka himself. Interleaved into it are countless pieces of ephemera: postcards, telegrams, a map scribbled on a napkin from the Pronghorn Java coffee shop ... S., in its elegant slipcase, is the mystery box that can be opened without dispelling its mystery. It is as much of a love letter to the form as Super 8 was a homage to the films of Spielberg' -- Stuart Kelly Guardian
'S. is not a normal book' New York Times
Publication date: 29/10/2013
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
|Publication date:||29th October 2013|
|Author:||J.J. Abrams, Doug Dorst|
|Publisher:||Canongate Books Ltd|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker J.J. Abrams has produced, directed, or written films and television shows including Fringe, Lost, Alias, Felicity, Star Trek, Cloverfield, Super 8, Mission: Impossible, and more. Doug Dorst teaches writing at Texas State University-San Marcos. He is author of the PEN/Hemingway-nominated novel Alive in Necropolis and the collection The Surf Guru. His work has appeared in McSweeney's, Ploughshares, Epoch, and elsewhere. Dorst is also a three-time Jeopardy! champion. Author photo © Bad RobotMore About J.J. Abrams, Doug Dorst