Jack's Reviews > A Simple Plan

A Simple Plan by Scott B. Smith
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's review
Oct 10, 12

it was amazing
Read from September 28 to October 10, 2012

My goodness. That's my reaction to this book. What a crazy read.

Scott Smith has created in this novel one of the most hateful characters I've ever come across in fiction in Hank Mitchell. The only one who writes characters I loathe more is Chuck Palahniuk. But what Smith does here that makes Hank Mitchell different than any of Palahniuk's characters, is he gives Hank depth. While I find many of Palahniuk's characters to be evil, moral-less souls, I also find them to be flat and one-dimensional, evil just because they are.

The difference with Scott Smith is that he really defines Hank Mitchell, almost makes you relate to him, almost makes you feel sorry for him. What Hank is lacking is a soul and a conscience; that's not a critique on the writing but instead is the driving force of the novel. Scott Smith does a great job of guiding us on a soul-searching mission. As Hank Mitchell spirals lower and lower as the events of the novel quickly unravel, we are searching for something that makes us feel for Hank, something to make us root for him, for him to redeem himself. But with every decision he makes, the more we dislike him. But because he is so well-defined, so three dimensional, we almost feel for him.

A simple concept, a simple plot, but not such a simple character, that's what makes this novel work.
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