SEVEN CIRCUMSTANCES

Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

“S.”, by Doug Dorst and J. J. Abrams

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Slipcover title, S, which I thought was just a background pattern.

For me, S., by Doug Dorst and J. J. Abrams, takes the Prize for this year’s Weirdest Novel and the one I found most physically difficult to read. J.J. Abrams is in the news right now as the director and co-author of the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), but fans might not know of this book, published two years ago. It is a puzzle within a puzzle within a puzzle, a novel within a novel within a novel. The book itself is designed to look like an old public library book, titled Ship of Theseus, that’s been written by someone called V.M. Straka, complete with different publishing details, like “Winged Shoes Press”, and a Dewey Decimal library sticker on the spine (813.54 – Fiction written between 1954 and 1999). The actual book, called S., after the lead character, is explained only on its sealed slipcase as actually conceived by filmmaker J.J. Abrams and written by novelist Doug Dorst. If you didn’t have the slipcase you would probably be fooled. I was. (Continue reading…)

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