Hi readers. Maybe you’ve been hearing about a book, S, by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst.
Jeanne tossed it aside last night with a frustrated sigh. Which was okay by me. When she brought S home from the library a couple of weeks ago I had a look, examined the acompanying envelope full of notes, whiz wheels, maps, you name it. I thumbed through the pages of Ship of Theseus enough to think someone had abused a book unmercifully and unforgiveably. And when she and another library lady claimed Ship of Theseus isn’t a real book I didn’t believe them.
A quick web search proved me right. I immediately found a site where VM Straka, his life, and his other books were being discussed in depth.
Sheeze, it required another search after I’d proved myself an idiot to discover it’s all a fake. A book, Ship of Theseus, as a centerpoint for two imaginary people studying the imaginary author and leaving notes in the margins to one another, following an imaginary mystery about the author and the book.
Well, hell. I’m the guy who’s read Umberto Eco’s Focault’s Pendulum haf-dozen times and loved it. I’m almost unique on the planet Earth in that regard. And I’m the guy who chased the Lost Adams Diggings through half the archives and dusty old books and microfilms pertaining to the 19th Century.
I smiled secretly to myself, knowing I’ve read The Eyre Affair and that entire Tuesday Next series by Jasper Fforde and would read more in an eyeblink, if I couldn’t find a heartbeat to read them in. And I’ve read all, I think, of the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels and loved them without exception. Read Filip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld series and loved it. S wasn’t going to throw me any curves.
So I earmarked S in my mind as something I’d do when Jeanne finished it. And last night when she declared it’s not her bag I smiled to myself and prepared to chase some devils and ghosts through the nights of the living dead I’ve noticed myself having of late.
This morning I picked it up, deciding to start by reading Ship of Theseus and ignoring the notes for a starter. Tried, but I was continually distracted by the notes. Because the notes in the margins are one hell of a lot more interesting and better written than the crappy novel they’re written in the margins of.
Probably Doug Doirst and JJ Abrams need to send their ideas off to Umberto Eco if they ever want to try this again. Eco knows how to write a book.