S.

For the 2017 book challenge, I had to read a book from a genre I had never heard of. I went to wikipedia and just started with A, browsing a variety of genres. I made it to E before anything stood out: ergodic literature. Say what? Once I clicked on the link, I learned that “In ergodic literature, nontrivial effort is required to allow the reader to traverse the text.” So, it’s not about a book being particularly hard to understand, but the actual process of getting to the text is difficult. Then, I scrolled down to the texts that fall into this category and I realized I had one on my shelf that I’ve been meaning to read for years: S.

I will say this now. I love JJ Abrams and I love LOST. It’s not the best show of all time, not even close. But it was interesting from an Easter Egg stand point. I loved the multiple layers that were woven into every episode. And, at least the show kept us on our toes. After every episode, I would go to a few sites and dig through what the other viewers found. I loved reading what all others found in the hidden messages. If I had the time, this book would pose the same interest and challenges.

S. is a story within a story. The book is The Ship of Theseus written by a fictitious author named Straka. And within this book are annotations from two college students, Jen and Eric. They don’t know each other, but meet through their conversations in and about the book. And as they get to know each other, they reveal information about themselves, making their notes personal, as well as about the book’s messages. SoT is shrouded in mysteries, from the author’s “death” to the hidden codes in the footnotes. Also included in the book are inserts that Jen and Eric share with each other. Those inserts include postcards, pictures, drawings, maps, etc. It’s probably beneficial to buy your own copy of this book. It will take multiple readings to fully understand, and I don’t think an ebook would do it any justice at all. Between the book, the annotations, and the inserts, this book falls under the ergodic genre because it is truly an interactive, challenging reading experience.

I loved this book. SoT isn’t the best book ever written, but that’s not the point. It’s a great story, and I was genuinely invested in it (I can’t even begin to explain the plot….it’s quite complex), but the entire experience is what makes this book worth reading. And if you need help or are looking for more information this website will be helpful. I really think this book is worth reading, if only for the experience. It wasn’t overwhelming at all, even though it does take a lot of work to get through. My strategy was to read it a chapter at a time, starting with the actual SoT story, then go back and read all the annotations of that chapter. So, set aside some time and give them book a chance.

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