S. Book Summary

by J. J. Abrams, Doug Dorst12


S. is a novel that explores an intricate mystery through the margin notes of two readers who communicate and uncover secrets within a fictional book called Ship of Theseus.

What is S. about

S. is a complex and layered narrative that intertwines the story of two readers, Jennifer and Eric, with the fictional novel Ship of Theseus by V.M. Straka. Jennifer, a college senior, and Eric, a disgraced grad student, communicate through margin notes in the book, unraveling a mystery about the enigmatic author and the novel's protagonist. The book delves into themes of identity, trust, and the transformative power of literature.

S. 7 Key Takeaways

Discovery of Ship of Theseus

Jennifer finds the book Ship of Theseus in her college library and notices margin notes from a grad student named Eric. This discovery initiates their written communication.

Meeting of Minds

Jennifer and Eric begin a correspondence through their margin notes, discussing the book's mysterious author and the story's deeper meanings, forming a connection.

Exploration of Straka's Identity

As they dig deeper, they uncover clues about V.M. Straka, the fictional author of Ship of Theseus, whose true identity is shrouded in mystery.

Unearthing Hidden Secrets

The duo discovers hidden messages and codes within the book, leading them to question their own lives and the world around them.

Perilous Journey in Ship of Theseus

The novel within the novel, Ship of Theseus, follows a man with no past on a strange ship with a monstrous crew, mirroring the readers' own journey of discovery.

Climactic Revelations

Jennifer and Eric's investigation reaches a climax as they uncover shocking truths about Straka and themselves, testing their trust and resolve.

Conclusion and Reflection

The story concludes with both characters having grown and changed through their journey, reflecting on the impact of their shared experience.

S. Best Reviews

  • "S. is a work of art, a novel that challenges and delights in equal measure. Abrams and Dorst have created a love letter to the written word." - The Guardian
  • "A labyrinthine mystery that rewards patient readers with its intricate storytelling and complex characters." - The New York Times

Top S. Quotes

  • "Who is Straka?"
  • "Every reader writes the book they read."

Who should read S.?

S. is ideal for readers who enjoy complex narratives, literary puzzles, and interactive reading experiences. Fans of mystery, ergodic literature, and stories that explore the nature of identity and trust will find this book particularly engaging and rewarding.

About the Author

J.J. Abrams is an acclaimed filmmaker and producer, known for his work on television series like Lost and films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Doug Dorst is an award-winning novelist, recognized for his works Alive in Necropolis and The Surf Guru. Their collaboration on S. blends Abrams’ knack for intricate storytelling with Dorst’s literary prowess, resulting in a unique and immersive reading experience.


Is S. and Ship of Theseus the same book?

S. consists of the novel Ship Of Theseus (written by fictional author V.M. Straka) and the margin notes of two students who communicate and uncover a separate story through their writings.

What type of literature is S. by J.J. Abrams?

S. is categorized as a mystery and ergodic literature, requiring readers to navigate multiple layers of narrative and physical annotations.

Is there a book called The Ship of Theseus?

Yes, within the context of S., Ship of Theseus is a fictional novel by V.M. Straka that plays a central role in the overarching narrative.