Tuesday, November 5, 2013

S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

So I think I made a mistake. I read this all in one shot and I don't think that's how I should have read it.

J.J. Abrams had a clever idea about reading a book and seeing a couple writing to each other in the margins of the book. He turned to Doug Dorst to pen the story within a story.

S. is a story about Jen and Eric reading Ship of Theseus by V.M. Straka. Jen and Eric are trying to figure out who Straka is. (turns out he was a mysterious author with a mysterious past) Ship of Theseus is about a man who can't remember who he is but finds himself in the midst of multiple events of death and (again) mysterious consequences.

I think the best way to read this clever story is to read Ship of Theseus by itself and trying to ignore the writing in the margins. Once you finish Straka's book, go back and check out the margin notes and the plethora of "inserts" that Jen and Eric leave each other.

I think the idea was good but I couldn't really get into either story. There were moments when the mystery man in Ship of Theseus gets into some crazy action and I was glued to the tale. But then he would jump back into the water, get located by the ship and things would die down and become incredibly boring. I understand that Straka's style of writing is of a bygone era but most of that tale was hard to slog through.

Jen and Eric's story (they're interaction with each other) follows a similar growing-excitement-only-to-be-let-down. I was getting geared up for an unseen chase by villains who are setting fires but instead it disappeared. Did I miss something of that plot line?

All in all, I will absolutely read this book again. There are clues and codes spread out. It is a J.J Abrams concoction remember. But I was very disappointed but S. I enjoy a good mystery but I never connected in a way I was expecting.

And even though I didn't like it, I'm hoping for more from these two.

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