Synopses & Reviews
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 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., 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, and it is also Abrams and Dorst's love letter to the written word.
"Pop's reigning futurist has something very old-fashioned up his sleeve: It is not a TV series, a prequel or sequel, a crowd-sourced online mystery, or an app. It's a book — a hardback novel." New York Times
"Opening S. feel[s] like uncovering a literary artifact." Los Angeles Times
"An intriguing and impressive experiment in storytelling that's full of paranoia, conspiracy theory, love and mystery."
"You, the reader, become sucked-in as mysterious post cards and notes tucked between the pages actually fall into your hands." CBS News
"The S. experience is like reading a novel while eavesdropping on a conversation....As if Franz Kafka had written an episode of Lost." CNN.com
"This is a must-read for literary puzzle fans, even for those unfamiliar with Abrams's TV and film work."
Publishers Weekly (starred)
"An intriguing mix of coming-of-age story, police procedural, and magical realism." Seattle-Times
J.J. Abrams and acclaimed novelist Doug Dorst create a reading experience like no other in this dazzling novel of love and mystery.
J.J. Abrams has created, written, produced, and directed groundbreaking television shows such as the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Lost and Alias and blockbuster films such as Star Trek, Cloverfield, Super 8, Mission: Impossible and Armageddon. His work is renowned for its sense of wonder and invention, and for helping reshape what's possible in film and television today.
In his first-ever idea for a novel, Abrams conceived of and developed a multi-layered literary puzzle of love and adventure. At its core, we have a book of mysterious provenance. In the margins, another tale unfolds: hand-scribbled notes, questions, and confrontations between two readers. Between the pages, online, and in the real world, you'll find evidence of their interaction, ephemera that brings this tale vividly to life.
Abrams turned to PEN/Hemingway Award- and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated novelist Doug Dorst, author of the acclaimed novel Alive in Necropolis (Riverhead, 2008) and story collection The Surf Guru (Riverhead, 2010), to write S. Together, Abrams' vision and Dorst's expert craftsmanship will redefine the novel.
About the Author
Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker J.J. Abrams has produced, directed, or written films and television shows including Fringe, Lost, Alias, Felicity, Star Trek, Cloverfield, Mission: Impossible
, and more.
Doug Dorst teaches writing at Texas State University-San Marcos. 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.