"S." Ship of Theseus J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

So I don’t usually – if ever- take photographs of or blog about a book, but I felt like “S.” by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst was something different enough to make it worthy of a little photoshoot. As explained on the Amazon.com website :

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.

S., conceived by filmmaker J. J. Abrams and written by award-winning novelist Doug Dorst, is the chronicle of two readers finding each other in the margins of a book and enmeshing themselves in a deadly struggle between forces they don’t understand, and it is also Abrams and Dorst’s love letter to the written word.


What really interested me was the attention to detail they went through to make this seem like an old book you  might have ‘stumbled across’ at a library to discover the notes and random contents


The book comes in a slipcase with a seal you have to break


There is a library type sticker on the binding


The book itself looks really like an old school hardcover . One of the reasons I bought the physical book rather than the E-Book version was for these tactile reasons. Some folks on Amazon have claimed they think the book even SMELLS old, but I can’t quite say i’d agree with that!!


inside the front cover


You immediately come across the margin notes written between the two other readers before you even start the story!


I really like how they made the pages look old. Gimmicky perhaps–but cool nevertheless..



The book is stuffed with all sort sod goodies as well, like this old ‘newspaper’ page, which apparently all lend clues to solving the mystery of the story


These notes are printed on a real napkin!!!


an old postcard with the address scribbled out–


And maybe my favorite part–the old library check out stamps ( remember those?!)



So I have not even started reading this, so can’t speak for the story, but thought the presentation was cool enough to share!


  1. Janalene on November 29, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Ooooo… Robert! Thank you for sharing! A must have gift idea for someone special. Great photographic description. Thanks again!

  2. Jan Ciccaglione on December 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Hello Robert – I stumbled across this November 29th blog while looking for my niece Anne Lallier-Stark’s wedding photos. I am Anne’s aunt on her mother’s side. My daughter, Lynne, works at the company (Melcher Media) that produced this wonderful book “S.” In fact, the cursive handwriting of Jen is Lynne’s actually handwriting. She was thrilled beyond words to have been chosen to do the handwriting. It was quite the production to make all the letters, postcards, decoder wheel and other ephemera seem aged and authentic. Needless to say, it was a great project to work on.

    P.S. I have seen some of the photographs from Anne and Dan’s wedding and I must say you captured the day beautifully.

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