Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Plot - Jean Hanff Korelitz

The Plot is Jean Hanff Korelitz's just released novel. It's gathering lots of buzz...

What's the plot of The Plot you ask?

"Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book.... 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....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...."

Korelitz is a clever writer. I always wonder how hard it is for a novelist to create a character that shares the same profession? How much is fact? Drawn from personal experience? Imagined?

Jake was a distinctly unlikable character for me. Not just for what he does, but for his inner dialogue, passing judgement on others so easily, but not seeing the man in the mirror. Kudos to Korelitz for her characterization. 

I've read other 'book within a book' novels and have always enjoyed this plot device. I have to say - I quite like the stolen book plot and would happily read the whole thing! Now, you just know, the theft of the plot is not going to go unnoticed by someone. It does indeed catch someone's eye. And I'm sorry to say - but I wasn't too upset with his being caught out. Just desserts as they say. But I was quite interested in what Korelitz had planned for Jake. Stolen ideas/books aren't a new idea, but Korelitz does a nice job coming up with her own twist on things. I had my suspicions and was proven right in the end, but the journey to the last page was intriguing and entertaining. 

I did find the beginning a bit slow, but it picked up for me once the threats began. While The Plot is suspenseful, it wasn't quite "breathtakingly suspenseful" for me.

Who else thought so? Here what Stephen King thought..."“The Plot is one of the best novels I’ve ever read about writers and writing. It’s also insanely readable and the suspense quotient is through the roof. It’s remarkable.”

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