Yep, that’s the title of the “book.” And yes, that’s quotation marks on book. It’s quite difficult to explain what an experience this was because it is more than just “a book.” Doug Dorst & J. J. Abrams made such an interesting concept which sort of reminds me of House of Leaves (which was how I found this book in the first place). The amount of work that was put into this “experience” must have been tremendous and I gotta give them props for that. Great job, guys!
Right off the bat, what you get is more of a box that contains the book called “Ship of Theseus.” That’s not a mistake. The physical book you get really is called that and the author of ‘Ship of Theseus’ is ‘V. M. Straka.’ It is supposedly a library book closely studied by a graduate student named Erik for his literary paper and he has written a number of annotations throughout the book. This said copy of the book was picked up by an undergraduate student, Jen, who works part-time at the university library and through this book, Erik and Jen communicate with each other by writing down notes on the book’s margins.
When you see the book, it looks overwhelming with all the annotations and inserts (letters, maps, photos, etc.) but to be honest, those things are what make this experience worthwhile, in my opinion. The beauty of ‘S.’ is that it is more than just the “Ship of Theseus” but rather it is ‘Ship of Theseus’ plus the story of Jen & Erik in real life.
As far as the story goes, ‘S.’ is certainly engaging. It has mystery, suspense and romance all in one. What’s not to like?
With all the back and forth between Jen & Erik, as the reader, I felt like I was eavesdropping on their conversations by reading their annotations on the book. Way to be an outsider, huh. The two search for answers regarding the true identity of V. M. Straka, who is truly a mysterious character. No one has seen/met/known VMS personally, not even the translator and editor of the book. Due to the mystery behind the identity of the author, Jen & Erik have their own ideas as to who VMS might be. Throughout the margins, they would be name-dropping various names which get confusing I gotta say. Other than that, I would say that I loved this book and I wouldn’t mind reading it again and I am sure I would understand it even more the second time around.
NinthMelody rating: 8/10