Author: J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst
Published: Mulholland Books, 2013
Summary: 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.
THE BOOK: Ship of Theseus, the final novel by a prolific but enigmatic writer named V. M. Straka, in which a man with no past is shanghaied onto a strange ship with a monstrous crew and launched onto a disorienting and perilous journey.
THE WRITER: Straka, the incendiary and secretive subject of one of the world’s greatest mysteries, a revolutionary about whom the world knows nothing apart from the words he wrote and the rumours that swirl around him.
THE READERS: Jennifer and Eric, a college senior and a disgraced grad student, both facing crucial decisions about who they are, who they might become, and how much they’re willing to trust another person with their passions, hurts, and fears. (Taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts: This book was awful. I just couldn't bring myself to finish the book in the end and so I have put it away and now I want to talk a little about why I didn't like this book and what I thought of it over all.
So, The Ship of Theseus part was actually not too bad. It was quite mysterious and there was a lot going on which I really enjoyed. I didn't love the story of The Ship of Theseus, it did take me a couple of chapters to actually get interested in the plot.
The part that I had the biggest problem with was with the story taking place in the notes in the margins and the little bits of paper and additions in the book. The characters were kind of boring and I found myself groaning every time I finished a chapter of The Ship of Theseus, because I had to then go back and read the conversations at the sides. I think it was after about the second time this happened that I decided that really if I was dreading picking this book up so much, I needed to just stop reading it.
There are a couple of things about the conversations that I didn't like. I found Jen's 'handwriting' to be quite hard to read at times so I felt like it took double the effort to try and read her stuff. There are different coloured conversations representing different times when the characters are writing to each other, the first is blue and black, the second orange and green, the third red and purple and then the very last conversation was in black and black which I just thought was really bad because I kept reading some of the black and black conversation thinking it was the initial conversation.
I didn't really care about who Straka was, I think it's probably because I knew that Straka was a fictional author anyway, and therefore I would never be able to figure out who he was or form my opinion myself and I didn't like the way that Jen and Eric were trying to figure it out. I also felt as though the drama of the Professor and the other student was so odd and really unbelievable. I didn't even feel like it was something to be feared. That was probably because I just didn't care.
Really, I feel like the idea of this book is a good one, I just feel like the execution isn't so great. I really just felt like I was putting a lot of effort into this book and the payoff just wasn't worth it. Maybe one day I'll try reading this one again but I honestly don't think I will. This book just was not for me.