S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

Conceived by filmmaker J.J. Abrams and written by novelist Doug Dorst, S. has been hailed as a brand new reading experience, but does it live up to the hype? Joining host Sasha deBuyl are Nicola Balkind, freelance writer and books blogger and Iain Morrison, Enterprise Manager at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery.

S by J.J. Abrams and Doug DorstS. is an ambitious and complex work with multiple strands fighting for the reader’s attention. The core text, Ship of Theseus, is the final work of fictional author V. M. Straka, presented with footnotes from the translator. Additionally, a multi-coloured sprawl of notes in the margins reveals an unfolding relationship between two readers as they try to decipher the mysteries of the book and its author. A feast for the senses, S. comes stuffed with with paraphernalia, including maps, letters, photocopied articles and a code wheel, making it a truly tactile experience.

The book is certainly beautiful, but does the story meet the high standards set by the design? Is the intrigue created by S. enough to keep readers hooked, or is the challenge of the book’s structure too much? Have a listen and find out what our panel thought, and join in the discussion in the comments below or by tweeting us @scottishbktrust or leaving a message on our Facebook page.

Discover more

If you'd like to explore further into the world of S., visit some of the websites mentioned in the podcast:

Radio Straka – which has a mysterious Twitter feed and a website with radio broadcasts.

A transcript of the Summersby confession

Twitter feeds for the protagonists Jen Hayward and Eric Husch and Jen's tumblr.



BookTalk is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

Filed In: Book Talk Tags: book discussion, book review