The Plot has a Great Plot!
The Plot has a great plot
Today I finished reading the novel, “The Plot,” by Jean Hanff Korelitz who also wrote the book “You Should Have Known,” which HBO made into the show The Undoing starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant and Donald Sutherland. In “The Plot,” Jacob Finch Bonner who had a great first novel is now teaching at a college in a third rate MFA program. Jacob hasn’t published anything in years. In comes Evan Parker the arrogant student who thinks he’s the know it all and that his book will be the next bestseller. In Jacob’s mind Evan is just a narcissistic young man who has some growing up to do, until Jacob hears the plot for himself. Jacob waits to hear about Evan’s plot being published but it never comes and then Jacob hears about Evan Parker dying without the novel being finished and Jacob does something that blurs the line between plagiarism and being inspired by the idea. Jacob finishes the story and then he becomes wealthy famous and read around the world and Steven Spielberg has the film rights. One day Jacob gets an email that says You are a thief! Jacob has to find out who is behind the emails threatening to oust him and find out how Evan Park came up with the novel that was a sure fire success and who really stole the idea from who? This is the first time I have read from Jean Hanff Korelitz and I was honestly hooked from beginning to the end.
The plot wasn’t just a good idea, it was also well executed. I like the fact that the story is about a blurred line between what exactly plagiarism is and what is using others ideas to make a great story. I also feel the characters are believable. The Evan Parker character that’s cocky and arrogant reminds me of a college guy in a creative writing course I knew that criticized everyone else’s writing calling it “inorganic” while also not writing the best stories himself. Jacob is likeable even if he indulges in self-pity a bit too much. The ending was a bit of a twist in my opinion, I know some reviewers on various book related sites felt they figured it out which I suppose some could but I was not one of them.
There weren’t many things I disliked about the novel. I will say I wished it was longer because it was a great novel. There were times I felt the novel dragged a bit. While Jake was investigating Evan and his family, it seemed to stereotype Christians and everyone from the south as redneck hillbillies. I had mixed feelings about the ending; even though it was unrealistic I still enjoyed the twist.
Overall I enjoyed this novel. I can’t wait to read more from Jean Hanff Gorelitz in the future. The plot was well executed as well as being great on paper.