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 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 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. (summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
S. is unabashedly the most interesting book that I've read recently. The whole execution is a love-affair with the written word. The entire package is a fascinating work of art even without reading the story itself. The book is made to look like a library book and filled with notes as well as odds and ends that the readers (Jennifer and Eric) pass back and forth. While reading the story, Jennifer and Eric provide their commentary through 'written' notes in the margins and you get to see their relationship change over the course of the book. Independently, the printed story is intriguing though I had a few lingering questions after the final chapter. Of course, that should have been expected with the creator of Lost involved! The combination of the two intertwined stories will have you compulsively trying to finish the book so you can start over again.
Some people may recommend reading the book in a particular order (nested book first, then comments etc.), but I recommend reading in one pass. The combinations increased the suspense for me as you will have a peek of what is to come.
While it is tempting to write more about this book, I will refrain because I believe the discovery and exploration are what make it so enjoyable. Just go check it out!
Rating: 5 stars!
Who Should Read It? People with a love of the written word, interested in a unique story-telling format or looking for a book that will keep you guessing even after the conclusion.