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Leading out of the rumor mill gate is S., a forthcoming novel Abrams is involved with somehow.

 

 

In his first-ever idea for a novel, Abrams conceived of and developed a multi-layered literary puzzle of love and adventure. At its core, we have a book of mysterious provenance. In the margins, another tale unfolds: hand-scribbled notes, questions, and confrontations between two readers. Between the pages, online, and in the real world, you'll find evidence of their interaction, ephemera that brings this tale vividly to life.

 

Abrams turned to PEN/Hemingway Award- and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated novelist Doug Dorst, author of the acclaimed novel Alive in Necropolis (Riverhead, 2008) and story collection The Surf Guru(Riverhead, 2010), to write S. Together, Abrams' vision and Dorst's expert craftsmanship will redefine the novel.

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I got this for Christmas, and I'm around halfway through it now. The production values are impressive: the paper looks and feels like a book that was made 60 years ago, and there are a bunch of loose inserts (postcards, photographs, napkins, etc.) that feel genuine, as well. I don't know how they manufactured it and made sure everything went in the right place (the inserts are page-specific).

 

The actual story--or stories, since the margin notes end up telling a color-coded, sequential story from several time periods; black and blue is early in the readers' relationship, orange and green is later, and red later still--are more interesting on the meta level than if any of them tried to stand on their own, but it's still a fun literary conspiracy/detective story.

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