Hello there! How are you all doing?
I have been writing a lot this past week but also not finishing anything, what is bad, yes.
So instead of talking about things that are still a mess in my mind, I will talk about books.
Actually one very specific book I just finished reading: ‘S’, by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst.
I have been meaning to read this one since last year, I even devoured the first pages after buying it and hugged it more times than a sane person should, but I sadly ended up having to put it aside as university started to make everything chaotic. And then last week I saw it there, looking at me with that mysterious black cover, with nothing between us and I knew it was time to finally finish it. And so I read and read and read. (You can blame it for my lack of writing too)
And it may be a little confusing to explaing what this book is about, because you can say it is a story inside a story inside a story, but I will try! (you can always read the synopsis on goodreads)
The first story is the one you have in hands: Ship of Theseus, the final book of mysterious (fictional) writer V.M. Straka. It’s a self-exploration kinda of tale about a man, named S, who lost all the memories of who he is and is then forced into a strange and dangerous journey in the pursuit of truth.
The second story is the one regarding the identity of the mysterious Straka and who he really is. Some people say that this last book contain the answers everyone is looking for. Could this book be somehow an autobiography of the writer? What is the truth behind it?
And then, and this is why I love this book very much, we have the story being somehow lived: a conversation between two students, Jen and Eric, in the margins of the book, trying to solve the mistery about the writer while falling for each other.
And it is awesome.
You can say it’s to them that the story really belongs. Every page turned got me excited to read their words and to see what they had discovered. And as you can see in the image above, the book also contains lots of inserts and I love the surprise they bring to the experience. Everything suddenly seemed real and I must admit I almost started scribbling notes in the margins too. (I WANT A MYSTERY TO SOLVE TOO)
The way their personalities, fears and everything else is explicit in the few words they share is amazing. I also can’t imagine the absurd amount of planning that this book must have needed, seriously.
I must be honest though: you need to have patience. While Ship of Theseus is interesting and intriguing, it is also dense and reflexive, making it a very slow read. The real thing that kept me reading and reading at first was actually all the mystery surrounding the book and the writer and how Jen and Eric were trying to solve it all. (THEY ARE PRECIOUS)
All in all, I can’t explain how much fun reading this book was for me. I’m really happy that I was able to have this EXPERIENCE. I love love love different ways to tell a story and books that somehow transform the experience of reading and make it something more personal and alive are just awesome. It makes me super happy and excited.
As a writer-designer I also wish one day to create something like this! (so beautiful, such a care for details)
And I just had this thought: that it somehow reminds me a lot of those fun children books, with secrets in the pages and hidden things around it.
What about you? Do you know a book that gives the reader a different and new experience? What to you think about these kind of stories? Do you have a mystery for me? I’m ready to uncover the secrets of the world.
Note: the title of this post is Book Experience #1, because I want to talk about another book in the future that follows the same idea (and that I love very much).