** NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! ** The Tonight Show Summer Reads Winner ** A New York Times Notable Book of 2021 **
"Insanely readable." —Stephen King
Hailed as "breathtakingly suspenseful," Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot is a propulsive read about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.
Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he’s teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what’s left of his self-respect; he hasn’t written—let alone published—anything decent in years. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn’t need Jake’s help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then . . . he hears the plot.
Jake returns to the downward trajectory of his own career and braces himself for the supernova publication of Evan Parker’s first novel: but it never comes. When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that—a story that absolutely needs to be told.
In a few short years, all of Evan Parker’s predictions have come true, but Jake is the author enjoying the wave. He is wealthy, famous, praised and read all over the world. But at the height of his glorious new life, an e-mail arrives, the first salvo in a terrifying, anonymous campaign: You are a thief, it says.
As Jake struggles to understand his antagonist and hide the truth from his readers and his publishers, he begins to learn more about his late student, and what he discovers both amazes and terrifies him. Who was Evan Parker, and how did he get the idea for his “sure thing” of a novel? What is the real story behind the plot, and who stole it from whom?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Plot is the absolute best kind of psychological thriller, one that leaves you pondering fascinating questions even after you’ve finished the book. Once touted as fiction’s next big thing, Jake Bonner finds himself stuck teaching creative writing at a third-rate Vermont college. Jake’s most promising student has an outline for what sounds like an incredible novel, but after he dies, Jake writes the book himself, becoming the hottest name in literature. And that’s when the threatening emails start. Jean Hanff Korelitz absolutely nails Jake’s neurotic blend of egotism and self-doubt—and as his feelings of guilt get worse, the tension ratchets up to an almost sadistic degree. Obviously, we won’t give away the ending, but don’t skip the brief epilogue, which will make you second-guess everything that just happened. The Plot is an absolute master class in mind games.
Jacob Finch Bonner, the hapless protagonist of this ingeniously twisty novel from Korelitz (The Devil and Webster), teaches creative writing in a low-residency MFA program at Ripley College in Vermont. Since his first novel came out to critical acclaim years before, Jake has published virtually nothing. One of Jake's students is cocky Evan Parker, who announces the first day of class that he's considering using "Parker Evan" as a pen name and is well along in his novel, which he asserts has the perfect plot. Soon after leaving the residency, Evan dies, leaving the "sure thing" to gather dust. When Jake learns of Evan's death, he uses Evan's plot for what turns out to be a phenomenally successful bestseller. But as Jake is in the midst of a whirlwind book tour, he's contacted by someone who knows exactly what he did and is vowing to out his literary transgression to the world. Deep character development, an impressively thick tapestry of intertwining story lines, and a candid glimpse into the publishing business make this a page-turner of the highest order. Korelitz deserves acclaim for her own perfect plot.
Has a Real “Gotcha” ending
Taut writing, well described characters and a plot twist that comes, at least to me, as a total surprise. Not to give anything away but when things happen a bit too conveniently and too fast you might want to step back a bit and see the forest from the trees.
Not a fan of murder mystery but……
This held my interest for a while….until the gray haired girlfriend came into the picture. There wasn’t any warmth to the relationship and she became suspicious to me. I also got irritated with the author being a “wimp”.
Maybe it’s me?
I admittedly read more non-fiction than fiction. To really get into a novel it has to grab me early and pique my interest. This novel didn’t do that. I was bored and didn’t really care for the main character. I think she is a good writer and gave the book three stars for that. It just wasn’t for me. Next.