S. [With Postcard] (Hardcover)
Emily K's Staff Pick (November 2013): A mystery, a treasure hunt, and a love story: this book is so cool! Undergrad student Jen picks up an old, worn book left behind by a stranger in the library. The book, Ship of Theseus by V.M. Straka, has been heavily annotated, so Jen responds with her own margin notes and leaves the book again for the stranger. So begins the intellectual partnership and romance of Jen and Eric, as they continue to communicate—without meeting—through this old book. As the third reader, you’ll have to read the actual mystery/adventure story by V.M. Straka, and then follow Jen and Eric’s annotations of their readings. Tucked inside are various ephemera—memos, letters, postcards—that are all part of the story.— From Emily Katzman’s Staff Picks
The chronicle of two readers finding each other, and their deadly struggle with forces beyond their understanding--all within the margins of a book conceived by "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams and written by award-winning novelist Doug Dorst.
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.
"S." contains 22 inserts and will be delivered in a sealed slipcase.
About the Author
Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker J.J. Abrams has produced, directed, or written films and television shows including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fringe, Lost, Alias, Felicity, Star Trek, Cloverfield, Mission: Impossible, and more. Doug Dorst teaches writing at Texas State University. He is the 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.
"The best-looking book I've ever seen. . . . The book is so perfectly realized that it's easy to fall under its spell. . . . If you want to write a romantic mystery meta-novel in which two bibliophiles investigate the conspiracy around an enigmatic Eastern European author, you couldn't choose a better team." --Joshua Rothan, New Yorker
"Impressively smart, engaging . . . Filled with secrets and stories that are endlessly beguiling and inviting . . . Reading S., and trying to decode everything [was] an incredibly enjoyable, fun experience, as well as a particularly immersive one. . . . For all its mysteries and intrigues, this is a book about the value of books, and what they can offer us that other storytelling mediums cannot." --Wired
"S. is gorgeous, a masterpiece of verisimilitude. . . . The book's spiritual cousin is A.S. Byatt's Possession. . . . The brilliance of S. is less in its showy exterior than the intimate and ingeniously visual way it shows how others' words become pathways to our lives and relationships." --Washington Post
"Both as literature and as a physical object, S. is a profound and tremendous work of art. . . . Brilliantly conceived and perfectly executed, the book harkens back to a golden age of storytelling. . . . An audacious literary achievement that calls to mind Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire, Chris Ware's Building Stories and even Charles Portis' Masters of Atlantis." --Miami Herald
"Reading S. is fun, and the book feels alive . . . Gloriously embroidered with marginalia and jammed with artifacts inserted between its pages . . . A celebration of the book as a physical thing." --Chicago Tribune
"Both as literature and as a physical object, S. is a profound and tremendous work of art."
-The Miami Herald