Friday, March 28, 2014

S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

S. by J.J. Abrams & Doug Dorst

VM Straka is an enigma. Not many know about who the author really is but they enjoy his books. This includes ex-scholar Eric who was kicked out of the university while studying Straka in his post-graduate. Jen, an undergrad student, finds Eric's Straka book 'Ship of Theseus', and starts jotting down notes in the margins. So starts a conversation between Jen and Eric who only meet in the pages of the book. In a truly unique book, not only do you get the story from 'Ship of Theseus' but the conversation between Eric and Jen as they try to figure out who Straka is.

The first challenge of this book is trying to figure out how to read it. Eric and Jen take 4 turns through the book using different colours each time. There are also inserts for the book, with newspaper clippings, postcards, etc. The book itself is quite beautifully crafted. This may be a bit odd but it also smelled exactly like an old book that had been kept in great condition. I decided to read the story and the first pass for Eric and Jen and then go back to read their second pass, followed by the third and then the forth. It seemed to work well and for the most part everything was in chronological order for reading.

The story of 'Ship of Theseus' is interesting but the real draw of the book comes from Eric and Jen. At first there are way too many characters and people to remember. I didn't feel like I had a good grasp on who was who until my second pass through the book. I really enjoyed the additional element that the notes in the margins added. It really made this book fun to read.

Don't pick this book up if you are a lazy reader. You need to continue reading the book after it's done by researching it online. Not all the clues are solved and not all answers are given (typical J.J. Abrams) but there are some sites out there that do a good job of filling in the blanks.


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