Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:
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?
About: The Plot is a mystery thriller written by Jean Hanff Korelitz. It will be published on 5/11/2021 by Celadon Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, paperback, 336 pages. The genres are mystery thriller, books about books, and fiction. According to Celadon Books, it was “founded by publishing industry veterans Jamie Raab and Deb Futter, Celadon Books, a division of Macmillan Publishing, selects each title with thoughtful consideration in an effort to create a list that is at once classic, uncommon, and fosters discoverability of new voices.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Plot on 1/2/2021 and finished it on 1/12/2021 at 1am. This book, to sum it up, was a fantastic read even though the first few chapters were a bit of a slow paced. I liked how informative this book was. The pace picked up when samples of stories were introduced, especially the story titled Crib. The horror of someone knowing the author’s secret was a nice push, made me want to turn the pages. This book definitely answered many of my asked and unasked questions about writers, publishers, and readers including reviewers. I’m glad to be informed as an early reviewer.
This book followed Jacob aka Jake, a once well-known author, told in the third person point of view as he arrived at his office looking hopeless. His new job was a teaching position, a writer teaching students to become a writer, except he’s not motivated to do the job because his own writing career has been receiving rejections after rejections since his first book was published years ago. One student, Evan Parker, had an idea for a story that was self-proclaimed mind blowing and after much persuasion, Evan finally told Jake about it. Jake thought that it will be the best story even though he hated to admit it. Two years later, Jake found himself yet again with a new job, but this time at a small town. There, he met a fellow writer that acted like Evan and the memories about Evan and the book idea returned. He decided to look up Evan and the book but found out Evan died and couldn’t find the book had been published. Three years later, Jake published a book with the idea he stole from his student, Evan. He became wildly successful as he always imagined but also terrified that someone will find out that the idea wasn’t his. The inevitable happened when Jake received an email from an unknown person accusing him of being a thief. This book was divided into four parts where there’s a title for each chapter summarizing what’s to come.
The Plot was well written with a unique idea I have not encountered before. I rarely able to guess who the killer was in thrillers but in this story, I was able to. I enjoyed both stories very much: the book and the story within this book. I was sad for the ending though because I do liked Jake and would prefer him to have a happy ending. The big reveal was great but I was hoping Jake would realize something was amiss sooner. The epilogue was okay only because the character was not my favorite. Overall, this mystery thriller was definitely an interesting read and I do recommend everyone to read it.
Pro: writing books, book about books, fast paced, informative in the publishing world, suspense, mystery
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Jean Hanff Korelitz is the author of the novels You Should Have Known (which aired on HBO in October 2020 as The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, and Donald Sutherland), Admission (adapted as a film in 2013 starring Tina Fey), The Devil and Webster, The White Rose, The Sabbathday River and A Jury of Her Peers, as well as Interference Powder, a novel for children. Her company BOOKTHEWRITER hosts Pop-Up Book Groups in which small groups of readers discuss new books with their authors. She lives in New York City with her husband, Irish poet Paul Muldoon. (Photo and info obtained from Macmillan’s website).