What’s Inside J.J. Abrams’ Mystery Box-Tinged New Book, ‘S.’?


Not content to unleash his powers of secrecy simply on cinephiles alone, J.J. Abrams has now unveiled his latest Mystery Box-influenced work, a book entitled “S.” that he conceived of and that was penned by author Doug Dorst. The book has been the subject of speculation for months now and, back in August, we examined some of the hints that Abrams, Dorst, and company had been dropping about the upcoming release – a book so secretive that they refused to release even a cover image of the book. At the time, we bemoaned the adherence to keeping things veiled, but with the book finally hitting shelves, it’s become much more clear why we couldn’t even see so much as a cover. Perhaps the Mystery Box can still work in exciting ways, at least when it means that fans of the multi-hyphenate’s work can unbox the damn thing in the comfort of their own homes.

So what’s inside “S.”? A lot. No, literally. As was promised months ago by the book’s publishers, “at the core of this multilayered literary puzzle of love and adventure is a book of mysterious provenance. In the margins, another tale unfolds—through the hand-scribbled notes, questions, and confrontations of two readers. Between the pages, online, and in the real world, you’ll find evidence of their interaction, ephemera that bring this tale vividly to life.” Just how much ephemera is actually crammed inside? Whole bunches! Postcards and notes and maps and decoders and more postcards and notes, the thing is stuffed with, well, stuff. No wonder this thing needs a slipcover (and, after all, a cover reveal for a fake book called “Ship of Theseus” by a fake author named V.M. Straka would probably have just proven confusing). Want to take a peek? After the break, take a look inside “S.”




“S.” is currently available for purchase.

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for VanityFair.com, Cosmopolitan.com, RollingStone.com, Vulture, MTV.com, Details.com, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and Film.com. She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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