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S.

by Doug Dorst, J.J. Abrams (Creator), V.M. Straka (Pseudonym)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,226725,410 (3.82)1 / 66
"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."--Slipcase.… (more)
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» See also 66 mentions

English (69)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
I just purchased this book. I've heard so much about it. Every reviewer I've read has either loved it or hated it, but I thought it might be worth giving it a try.
I finally finished this book. It has an interesting concept, but it takes a lot of focus and energy to follow the three simultaneous story lines. In the end, this book is about love and redemption in a world where there is little of either. In one of the story lines neither love nor redemption is ever found, but in the other two, some measure of it is discovered by the characters. If you have the time and energy, this book is worth a look. ( )
  ftbooklover | Oct 12, 2021 |
This was a pretty cool experience, the novel itself is just interesting enough to make you want to keep going while not distracting from the multiple other layers of story playing out on top. The production value here is crazy high, a ton of effort was put into the ephemera and making all the different pieces feel like the belong. There's a whole different layer that's left as an exercise for the reader, I wish my book club had been at all willing to engage with me on it :P ( )
  levan.matthew | Jul 17, 2021 |
I really wanted to like this book, but ultimately, I didn't find the story interesting enough at any level to justify puzzling through it. Considering you're supposed to read the thing 3-4 times to really understand it, I cut my losses and dropped the book after about 100 pages. I can see how other people enjoyed it, but it just wasn't for me. ( )
  Samantha_Quick | Jul 15, 2021 |
There are not many books that actually qualify as "unique," this would be one of them. It is hard to write a normal review of it since the the book operates on so many levels. I truly enjoyed being immersed in this book, in the end I just allowed myself to flow along with it. I'm still not sure I got everything that was going on, but that isn't the point (at least to me). It was weird to be reading a book that must be read in the physical form (as opposed to an ebook) to be appreciated. I do wish it came with a key so that if some of the artifacts fall out as you are reading you can know where to replace them. This happened a couple of times to me, once it was easy to figure where the tuck in belonged, the other not so much. Again though, this doesn't really matter. This is a book to lose yourself in, a book to enjoy and savor. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
I knew I was in trouble when I had to watch a video on how to read this book. The issue is that there is a main story in the text, but annotations in the margins between two readers (Jen and Eric) as well as various inserts, which theoretically contributed to the story. You can read the story first and then go back and read the notes, you can do this page by page or chapter by chapter. After trying the chapter approach with the prologue, I abandoned the notes completely and never returned to them. The basic story was decent although somewhat confusing, starting with a protagonist suffering from amnesia, who is shanghaied and then becomes somewhat like Odysseus as he travels with a mission, in this case to avenge the death of compatriots. I liked the main character and the strange characters/places/time shifting, but found the notations and relations between the two readers to be so bothersome that I skipped them. As another GR reader noted: "S. combines mystery, literary analysis, innovation, tradition, adventure and love in an exquisite package" so I rounded my 2.5 stars up to 3. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
As viewers of the final episode of Lost know, Abrams has form in creating an addictive narrative and then disappointing at the end. And, despite delivering regular high-concept pleasures, S. is finally a brilliant piece of publishing rather than a wholly coherent rethinking of the novel.
added by amanda4242 | editThe Guardian, Mark Lawson (Nov 13, 2013)
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dorst, Dougprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abrams, J.J.Creatormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Straka, V.M.Pseudonymmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Schnettler, TobiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schröder, BertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
If found, please return to Workroom B19,
Main Library, Pollard State University. [in pencil]
Translator's Note
  And Foreword
          by
   F. X. Caldeira

               I.
Who was V.M. Straka?
Chapter 1

What Begins,
   What Ends

Dusk. The Old Quarter of a city where river meets sea.
Quotations
What begins at the water shall end there and what ends there shall once more begin.
Words are a gift to the dead and a warning to the living.
The story you walk into, he has learned, is always more complex than it first appears.
They're good questions, to be sure, but they have no answers, and at some point one chooses not to ask anymore.
But you ought to understand, too, that there's an attrition that takes place inside, one in which options and choices and even desires are ground ever smaller until finally their existence can no longer be confirmed by observation or weight or displacement but only by faith.  Until desire is a ghost.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Should not be confused or merged with S. [http://www.librarything.com/work/1379...] by John Updike.

-or with-

S. [http://www.librarything.com/work/1077...] by Slavenka Drakulic.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

"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."--Slipcase.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
They say you never

read the same book twice, but this

might require it.

(legallypuzzled)

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Average: (3.82)
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1.5 1
2 21
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