A young woman picks up a book left behind by a stranger. Inside it are his margin notes, which reveal a reader entranced by the story and by its mysterious author. She responds with notes of her own, leaving the book for the stranger, and so begins an unlikely conversation that plunges them both into the unknown.
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This Was a Man
Abrams and written by award-winning novelist Doug Dorst, is the chronicle of two readers finding each other in the margins of a book and enmeshing themselves in a deadly struggle between forces they don't understand. It is also Abrams and Dorst's love letter to the written word.
Canongate Books Ltd
Number of Pages
* Filled with secrets and stories that are endlessly beguiling and inviting Wired * S. is at the heart of Abrams' aesthetic vision ... Not only do we get a novel, Ship of Theseus, purportedly by a "VM Straka" - about a man shanghaied onto a mysterious boat with a demonic crew - the copy in the reader's hand is heavily annotated by two other readers, Jennifer and Eric, who are attempting to make sense of the text and themselves, as well as the enigmatic figure of Straka himself. Interleaved into it are countless pieces of ephemera: postcards, telegrams, a map scribbled on a napkin from the Pronghorn Java coffee shop ... S., in its elegant slipcase, is the mystery box that can be opened without dispelling its mystery. It is as much of a love letter to the form as Super 8 was a homage to the films of Spielberg -- Stuart Kelly Guardian * It genuinely feels as if you, as the reader, have stumbled on a literary relic, the sole copy of a twisted conspiracy ... that sense of wonder that has driven Abrams' entire career is found on every page of S. Scotland on Sunday * A book you long to share with others Metro * S. is not a normal book New York Times * Genuinely awe-inspiring Independent * What we have is a new kind of book which is, in essence, a very old kind of book. As they say in Abrams' Hollywood, it's so crazy it just might work Financial Times * Astonishing -- Mark Lawson, BBC Front Row * Multilayered wonder Evening Standard