God dammit, J.J., you cryptic bastard. Can't you just issue a press release like a normal person? Apparently not, because last month instead of a press release he released an incredibly cryptic teaser trailer for ... something. It turned out that something was a book, and today Abrams' Bad Robot released a second, almost-equally mysterious trailer to go along with it. Along with it is more information on S., the novel itself.
We noted last month that there wasn't yet much to know about the book or its contents:
As any Abrams fan would expect, few details have been revealed about the book's plot, but it's known that its story will be told in a "Mystery Box" type way, meaning it will contain "20 to 22 pieces of ephemera in the 'real world'", according to Abrams' editor, Joshua Kendell.
Now, though, we're starting to get more information. The trailer — which talks of erasure and rebirth — features the same narrator as the first, this time with the voice-over addressing an unknown person, using phrases like "they're going to find you" alongside images of toppled typewriters. It then cuts to a quote by Plato: "Death is not the worst that can happen to men." So. Nothing creepy there at all.
This is followed by the narrator saying that "the books is only the beginning," and then a needle being pressed into the mouth of someone I'm assuming is the man at the beginning of the trailer with his mouth sewn shut. This is concluded with the URL for SoonYouWillKnow.com, the promotional site for the book.
S., which Abrams has been developing with novelist Doug Dorst, has been making the best of viral marketing to sell the cryptic tone behind the book itself. Here's the Amazon description of the book:
One book. Two readers. A world of mystery, menace, and desire.
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.
The book: Ship of Theseus, the final novel by a prolific but enigmatic writer named V.M. Straka, in which a man with no past is shanghaied onto a strange ship with a monstrous crew and launched onto a disorienting and perilous journey.
The writer: Straka, the incendiary and secretive subject of one of the world’s greatest mysteries, a revolutionary about whom the world knows nothing apart from the words he wrote and the rumors that swirl around him.
The readers: Jennifer and Eric, a college senior and a disgraced grad student, both facing crucial decisions about who they are, who they might become, and how much they’re willing to trust another person with their passions, hurts, and fears.
S., conceived by filmmaker J. J. Abrams and written by award-winning novelist Doug Dorst, 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, and it is also Abrams and Dorst’s love letter to the written word.
The book is set to come out on Oct. 29, published by Little, Brown.