Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Review: The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Title: The Plot
Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
Published: May 2021, Celadon Books
Format: ARC Paperback, 336 pages
Source: Publisher

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?

My thoughts: It's not often that I read a book so far ahead of it's publication date but I just had to with this one. This is going to be a book everyone will be talking's that good! So mark your calendars for May 11th when this one hits the will definitely want to pick up a copy or pre-order this book.

I will say, this is a slow-burning psychological thriller but I found myself completely captivated right from the start. I absolutely loved all the commentary about the writer's world - some I was quite familiar with being a book blogger. I also loved the way the story was structured, alternating between what is going on in Jake's life and then the chapters from "the book." I found each equally compelling and both added to the overall enjoyment of the book, propelling it forward.

This premise of this book definitely piqued my interest and then once I started reading it, I found I could not put the book down, but again, it's a rather slower read until that last third of the book when things really take off. This is when Jake is really in the midst of figuring out who is behind the messages and boy do things take on a life of their own. While I did figure out some of the twists, this in no way detracted from my overall enjoyment of this book because I still did not figure out everything. And the ending...just brilliant! I loved it! There are quite a few subtle twists and turns this book takes and it really kept me engaged and flipping the pages. I definitely recommend picking this one up when it comes out in May!


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