Welcome to the World of “S.”


I urge you to dig. Give in to the unknown for a while and ponder the mystery. It’s worth it. – JJ. Abrams

Welcome to Thoughts on “S.”  Y’ part o’ th’ tradition, now. Part o’ th’ tradition. Here you can read about, discuss, and find resources to help you delve into the topics, puzzles, ciphers, clues, riddles, enigmas, mysteries, love stories, and battles between good and evil found in “S.” To tailor your “S.” experience, choose from the options below.

A Spoiler-Free Beginner’s Guide to Reading “S.” (this is the only post that does not mention events in the book – a great way to get started)

Walk-Throughs  (detailed, orderly analysis of chapters, characters, or themes)

Inserts (where the inserts are and what they might mean)


Blog Posts

 Questions? Comments? Email me at mystimus@gmail.com.

  1. Captain says:

    Nice work on organization. Thanks

  2. Marie says:

    Hi there,
    I just started “S” last week, so I am a complete beginner. I was wondering whether anyone has “translated” the pirate-like talk of Malstroem in the first two chapters (that’s how far I am by now)? English is not my first language, so I get most but not all of it (and I fear that I miss important stuff).
    Hope that someone can help:)

    • I do not know of a word-by-word analysis of Maelstrom’s pirate-speak, but if you point out something specific I’m sure I and others will venture our best translation attempt.

      For example, “coggin'” means “thinking” or “understanding”, I believe.

  3. Mary Holst says:

    I was wondering if someone could make 5 discussion questions for a group I am leading about the format, story, and the themes. Thanks!

    • Here is my attempt. Other readers, please feel free to help Mary with your own version of questions. And Mary, regardless of what questions you actually choose, I would love for you to comment here on how your group went.

      1. What story snippets can you find in Chapter 1 that parallel larger themes throughout the remainder of the book? (See https://whoisstraka.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/thoughts-on-chapter-1-what-begins-what-ends/ for possible answers)

      2. J.J. Abrams describes this book as a “love letter to the written word.” In what ways do you see this revealed within S?

      3. What do you make of S’s ability to think abstractly about his surroundings and circumstances, even in the midst of terrible situations? Specifically, what do you think of his detailed analysis of the cave paintings as he runs from Vevoda’s detectives?

      4. The margin notes between Eric and Jen often parallel the action within SOT on an emotional level. “Different stories. Same tradition.” How do you see this playing out and what importance do you think it carries?

      5. The ship that carries S is clearly a metaphor, but for what exactly? Its ability to “resurrect” and hide on the waters and still be the same ship despite every piece of wood being replaced must mean something. Use the story in the Chapter “Obsidian Island” where S. sits down and reads the book labeled “S” and sees nothing but page after page of drawings of the ship to help explain your answer.

  4. Hey! Nice to have my site visited by a fellow Straka-seeker :) I must admit, I’ve fallen out of the circle regarding the book. Is there more mystery and puzzle still going on? Seemed to have quieted down for a long time, so I stopped checking in…

    • Loved your Thanksgiving post. As far as Straka and its mysteries and puzzles, I think there is progress. Depends on how you look at it. Would love to see any thoughts you have if you have time to delve back in.

  5. storywrtr says:

    Just starting this book, finally. Hoping this will help tremendously.

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