J.J. Abrams Explains 'S.' Mystery

By DAVID WEINER

October 29, 2013

At the end of the summer, J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot quietly released Stranger, a mysterious teaser for a new project, but revealed no details as to what exactly it was, letting the cryptic, elegiac one-minute piece speak for itself. A follow-up video was subsequently released, explaining that it was a teaser for S., a brand-new book from Abrams and Doug Dorst. The unique tome finally hits store shelves today, and Abrams details what to expect to ETonline, saying it's a novel "unlike any I've ever seen."

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"There is a great mystery involved in it, [and] there's a love story that I think is a beautiful and fun thing," Abrams, speaking at the Blu-ray release party for Star Trek Into Darkness, told ETonline of the new book. "And so there's the novel itself, and then there's sort of a play on top of the novel, and it is a beautifully done thing that Doug Dorst wrote, that we developed, and I couldn't be more excited for people to check this out."

Abrams' first foray into publishing, the new novel from Mullholland Books is described this way by the publisher: "At the core of this multi-layered 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."

Related Video: J.J. Abrams on Movie Trailers: 'It Drives Me Crazy' 

The idea came to Abrams when he noticed an abandoned novel at LAX Airport. Picking it up, there was a note asking the person who finds the book to read it, enjoy it, then leave it for someone else to find. The event sparked the idea that within the pages of an epic novel by an enigmatic author there could be multiple layers of an interpersonal relationship wrapped in a larger mystery, inviting the reader to investigate with the help of margin notes, postcards, telegrams, old photographs, notebook paper, a cocktail napkin with a map, a decoder wheel and more.

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