Heather's November 2013 pick
S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst
is difficult to describe a book that is more than just a story. This
novel itself is the experience. A visual, tactile interaction that you
can't have with ebooks or audio. Honestly, you really need to see this
book. Come in to the store just to open it up and marvel at the
innovative way this novel has been designed to draw the reader into the
story. It is formatted in an inventive multi-layered medium that
demonstrates what draws "book people" to books. It is designed to bring
people back to physical books.
I purchased it
right away and have fallen deeply and happily in love. I'm still reading
it but I'm willing to recommend it as my November Staff Pick without
knowing the outcome. It is that intriguing.
The premiss of the novel:
strangers, a grad student and an undergrad, are writing notes in the
margins of one of the novels by an author called V.M. Straka. Using the
text and footnotes they are trying to unravel the many mysteries
surrounding the elusive author.
Their story is
nonlinear, flirtatious and argumentative at once, thus adding depth and
layers of a modern romance to Straka's mythic tale. The tale, or really
the book within a book, is of self discovery in an unreliable world
hinting at the authors own troubles. The clues to the mystery of
Straka's life lay hidden in the text.
Abrams and Dorst have made those facts very tangible for readers.
pages of S. are literally stuffed with research. Each page turned can
reveal letters, articles, or photos that may come fluttering out. The
mysterious plot is engrossing and the story is well crafted. Overall S.
is a novel any book lover would enjoy.