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Manda (bookwenchmanda) | 1094 comments S.
S. by J.J. Abrams

GR summary:
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 rumours 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.

I read this for my 2017 Challenge, a book by an author you haven't read yet. I finished this book last night and I'm still trying to process it. It was really good and a lot of fun with all the "extras" of the book. I loved the story inside a book aspect of it, and the developing story between Jennifer and Eric.


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Erica | 475 comments I’m reading this now for the week about punctuation in the title. It’s really interesting so far.

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Stacey | 22 comments I'm sad to say I DNF'd it yesterday. I love the idea of it, but not the actual process of reading it 😔

Perri | 782 comments JJ Abrams, who created Alien and Fringe TV shows, conceived the idea, I gave him 5 stars for originality. I gave the novelist, Dorst, 2 stars for the writing. I found it mostly confusing

Sarah | 22 comments I'm curious for those of you who read or attempted this book, how did you go about reading it? Did you read Ship of Theseus first and then go back to notes? Did you read it all at once?

Chrissy | 852 comments Yes, I read it in chronological order, which means I went through the book several times. I don’t think it adds much time to the reading - the later passes go really fast. It’s a really interesting book, and I plan to read again sometime because I think I’ll pick up on lots of other things I missed.

Angela | 397 comments I read this for 2018's Week 15 - a book with a unique format/writing structure. I found the concept fascinating, but it wasn't particularly well executed. The actual story (Ship of Theseus) wasn't engaging enough. I loved the notes between Eric and Jen, as well as the inserts.

Sarah, I read it chapter by chapter (I read a chapter of the novel, then went back and read the notes for that chapter). It allowed me to keep track of both stories. I also experimented with formats - I bought the iBook version of the novel, as it allows you to switch off the notes to read a 'clean' copy of Ship of Theseus. I then read the margin notes and inserts in my hard copy.

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Emma (factandfable) | 181 comments I picked this for #38 (A book not written in traditional novel format) in 2019. I am still in the process of reading it, and while I can't say I love the Ship of Theseus itself, it is a fun read.

I am reading the pencil notations, insets (when not clearly marked as going with a specific comment) and some of the earlier back and forth comments along with the text, and then I plan to go back and reread the comments in chronological order.

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