Intentionally Tangible

By now you’ve probably heard of S., the collaborative mystery novel from Lost creator J.J. Abrams and writer Doug Dorst (Alive in Necropolis) — it’s currently the #5 bestselling book on Amazon. Haven’t had much of a chance to get into this yet, but copies are just now finding their way to the libraries, and the request list isn’t too long … yet.
 
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Being a fan of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, and Nabokov’s Pale Fire, among other books using the story-within-a-story structure, this one intrigues me: we have an old manuscript, a mysterious author, and two obsessed bibliophiles courting each other through marginalia. Moreover, S. is presented as a library book — and beautifully so, I can vouch for it — with catalog card and ephemera tucked between its pages.
I like what Abrams has to say about the book at the New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog:
 
Abrams: It’s intended to be a celebration of the analog, of the physical object. In this moment of e-mails, and texting, and everything moving into the cloud, in an intangible way, it’s intentionally tangible. We wanted to include things you can actually hold in your hand: postcards, Xeroxes, legal-pad pages, pages from the school newspaper, a map on a napkin.
 
I can see this one under quite a few Christmas trees this year. But why wait? Read the complete interview with J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst here.
 
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About eplundgren

Library technician and coordinator of the STL Scribblers group at Central Library in St. Louis, MO.
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