The Story of Ship of Theseus: A story about the book that has a story within the story.

Ship of Theseus is a book that I’ll be reviewing soon. It looks like a darned interesting book, and the way I got it given to me was a little odd, so I thought I’d, erm, introduce the book, for lack of a better phrase, and talk a bit about how I got it, and what’s unique about it. (I’m 90 percent sure I probably haven’t spoiled anything with my random pictures, but SPOILER WARNING for Ship of Theseus, just in case!!)



So, my co-worker comes to me today, and asks to speak with me in private. I agree, and as soon as we are in the office, she closed her door and says “I got an extra of this book, knowing I would end up wanting to give a copy to someone I knew would appreciate it.” She asks me if I knew who J.J. Abrams  is, and when I confirm that I do (wondering what in the world J.J. Abrams has to do with a book), she almost reverently places this book in my hands.


I’m intrigued. I mean, who wouldn’t be. That’s not a usual cover you see nowadays. She tells me more about the book. This is part of the “About” on the back page. “Conceived by filmmaker J.J. Abrams and written by award-winning novelist Doug Dorst, this is the chronicle of two readers finding each other in the margins of a book and enmeshing themselves in a deadly struggle between forces they don’t understand. It is also Abrams and Dorst’s love letter to the written word.” She tells me how it’s a story within a story and the margins and notes need to be read separately if I can do it. This is the first page. Interesting format. I mean, I’d just recently read Illuminae, and I know that was marketed with a unique format that a lot of people loved, so I figured what the hey…


So I get home and start carefully opening it. And I see why she warned me about the inserts. This book is packed with inserts that are part of the story within a story. Some are like this, some are legal pad paper…





There’s even postcards that have been filled out, scribbled over, etc. You can tell some thought went into this







Then I turn to the back cover and I see this.

Talk about dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s. I haven’t been so interested to read a book in a long, long time. If this doesn’t hold up to the presentation, I’m going to be so, so mad!


And thus concludes my random story of the book that’s a story within the story. 

Guess I was feeling whimsical today.



13 thoughts on “The Story of Ship of Theseus: A story about the book that has a story within the story.

  1. I just started reading this book I catalogued And set aside the inserts I am reading the typed story then the margin notes I believe this book is more about the readers journey than the destination finding out who the author truly is …

  2. I only read the beginning of this review because I’m enthralled with anything J.J. Abrams has come out with. Sooooo…..I’m putting the book on my “to read” list, and I thank you for your spoiler alert.

  3. I bought this book a long time ago because it’s simply amazing and beautiful. I just had to have it! I also started reading it but gave up. Not that it would be bad or anything, but it’s a slow read and you really have to take time. I’m really interesting into your review. Maybe it will convince me to start all over and finally read it!

    1. I started it last night. Going to do a chapter a day I think. Seems to work well, especially if you read Ship first, then go back to the beginning of the chapter and read their story.

      1. Oooh… I was struggling with reading everything written on each page and it was so confusing. Probably this is also a reason why I gave up.
        I’ll try with your tactic! Thanks 😀

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