Here is the blurb from Amazon:
"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."
Interesting though kinda vague. So that is not what will capture your attention. But the inside !!!! It is the production! The stuff. The feel. The smell (seriously, mine has old book smell, sort of, which is cool if really odd).
The book is full of marginalia and has clippings and postcards and stuff tucked in there. It is so cool! I want to start reading it immediately but ACK work! Must work! Plus I have like three other books that I have started that I am trying to read.
I used to work at a library and while I loath highlighters and modern notation - I find old notations and notations in privately owned books utterly fascinating. Plus handwriting used to be so much nicer. I really do think that loss of fine motor control is at least partly due to the chemical exposures now common in industrialized nations.
I have already read the warnings to pull out the inserts and tag them with page numbers so that it is easier to read the book without things falling all over the place.
S. has five principal "characters":
- S. – The main character in the novel "Ship of Theseus"
- V.M. Straka – the author of the novel Ship of Theseus.
- The Translator (FXC) – a historian of Straka’s works who translates the novels and also pens commentary in the form of footnotes throughout Ship of Theseus.
- Eric – a literary theorist
- Jen – a student who finds Eric’s copy of Ship of Theseus
Now I am trying to figure out how to tackle this. There is the 'original' book Ship of Theseus by V.M. Straka that some people advise you to read straight without looking at all the cool, colorful stuff and the margin notes (hard).
According to a reviewer at Amazon (who signed their review C.) Jen and Eric's notes are not entirely in chronological order. You have to go by color. The reviewer advises the following ...
" First, there's Eric's pencil notes to himself about the actual book. Then, the convo [sic] between J&E begins when Jen picks up Eric's book and sees his notes and begins commenting on them in the margins. He sees this and writes back. Those early messages are Jen: Blue Ink - Eric: Black Ink
At some point after they go through the book a first time, they go through again. This time Jen: Orange Ink - Eric: Green Ink.
Then a third time Jen: Purple Ink - Eric: Red Ink
Finally, a fourth time (which seems to be after the denouement, in which they retrospectively discuss what has transpired). These are less frequent, and both Jen and Eric are in Black Ink.
***Read each chapter of the main text of SoT, ignoring all of Jen & Eric's notes. Upon finishing each chapter, you're going to want to go back and read only the blue/black notes and any referenced inserts. Then, move on to the next chapter. After you finish the whole book, go back and read only the orange/green notes and referenced inserts. Then purple/red, then black/black.***"
This is the first time I have ever felt the need for so much forward preparation to read a book. Wow!