Friday, January 6, 2023

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

 Hi all!

For our January Mystery Book Club meeting, we read The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz.

About the book: 

"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?

Did you read it? What did you think?

I liked it once the story got going. I would say it started a bit slow for me. Once Jake received the first email "You are a thief", that is when the book too off for me.  We have the story of Jake and then we have the book that he writes, in alternating chapters. The two styles of writing are different.

 We discussed in out meeting that it may have written in two different styles to clearly separate the two stories. We all agreed we liked Jake's book better in some ways than the main story. A real psychological thriller. But the two merge at the end with a pretty good twist. I did pick out the culprit halfway through. That may also have been intentional to create more tension. At the end of the discussion and from our members that follow by email, half liked it and half did not with some that "loved it" .

By the way, this book is slotted to be made into a movie for Hulu.

About the author from Goodreads:

"Native New Yorker! Graduated from Dartmouth College and Clare College, Cambridge. I'm the author of eight novels: THE PLOT (The Tonight Show's "Summer Reads" pick for 2021), THE LATECOMER (to be published in May, 2022), THE UNDOING, originally published as YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN (adapted by David E. Kelley for HBO and starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant and Donald Sutherland), ADMISSION (adapted as the 2013 film of the same name, starring Tina Fey, Lily Tomlin and Paul Rudd), THE DEVIL AND WEBSTER, THE WHITE ROSE, THE SABBATHDAY RIVER and A JURY OF HER PEERS, as well as a middle-grade reader, INTERFERENCE POWDER, and a collection of poetry, THE PROPERTIES OF BREATH. If you've become aware of my work via THE UNDOING, you should know that my novel differs significantly from the adaptation -- and that's fine with me! Just know that the twists you might be expecting will likely not be there on the page. Other twists, yes, but you'll have to read the book to find them."

The Late Comer is also listed to be made into a movie.

I would recommend it. It was worth the read.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that this one too will be made into a movie. I guess I was in the sorta-liked-it and sorta-didn't category. It was Jake that irritated me - didn't like being inside his head. Glad we read it though.