S. (Dorst novel)

book by Doug Dorst

S. is a 2013 novel written by Doug Dorst and conceived by J. J. Abrams, presented as a story within a story. It is composed of the novel Ship of Theseus by a fictional author, and hand-written notes filling the book's margins as a dialogue between two college students hoping to uncover the author's mysterious identity and the novel's secret plus loose supplementary materials tucked in between pages.

Quotes edit

  • If found, please return to workroom B19, Main Library, Pollard State University
    Hey — I found your stuff while I was shelving. (Looks like you left in a hurry!) I read a few chapters & loved it. Felt bad about keeping the book from you though, since you obviously need it for your work.
    Have to get my own copy!
    — Jen

Quotes about S. edit

  • Fans of S. don't just ask each other if they've read the book — they ask each other how they read it. Written by Doug Dorst (with inspiration from concept creator and "novelrunner" J.J. Abrams), the book is a singular experience: Within a worn library copy of fictional author V. M. Straka's nineteenth and final novel, Ship of Theseus, are two readers who've found each other in the margins. There are issues of identity on all fronts — S, the protagonist in Ship of Theseus, has amnesia, and doesn't know who he is; V.M. Straka, his author, is said not to exist and may be a pseudonym for a number of candidates; Eric, a grad student studying Ship of Theseus, is hoping to solve that question of authorship for his dissertation, but he, too, doesn't officially exist, as his university has expunged him. Along comes an undergrad named Jen who picks up Eric's copy of the book, reads his notes, and starts writing notes to him in the margins as she gets pulled into Straka's work and the mysteries surrounding both him and Eric. It's a labyrinth of story-within-story, especially when you consider the footnotes are ciphers.

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