J.J. Abrams and acclaimed novelist Doug Dorst create a reading experience like no other in this dazzling novel of love and mystery
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.
“Filled with secrets and stories that are endlessly beguiling and inviting”
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”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”
“It genuinely feels as if you, as the reader, have stumbled on a literary relic, the sole copy of a twisted conspiracy … that sense of wonder that has driven Abrams’ entire career is found on every page of S.”
scotland On Sunday
”S. is not a normal book”
new York Times
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.