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A Simple Plan

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  31,244 ratings  ·  1,385 reviews
Two brothers and their friend stumble upon the wreckage of a plane–the pilot is dead and his duffle bag contains four million dollars in cash. In order to hide, keep, and share the fortune, these ordinary men all agree to a simple plan.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Vintage (first published August 31st 1993)
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Popular Answered Questions Well, yes! For starters I would never kill anyone except in self-defense (or by accident)! Certainly not for money. But that would make a pretty borin…moreWell, yes! For starters I would never kill anyone except in self-defense (or by accident)! Certainly not for money. But that would make a pretty boring book, I guess...(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Huck Flynn Leah is spot on - they reckon if the authorities find a reasonable amount of money in the plane they will think that's all there is - why would somebo…moreLeah is spot on - they reckon if the authorities find a reasonable amount of money in the plane they will think that's all there is - why would somebody leave any money behind? It's a semi-smart bluff unless the guys who find the plane know how much was in it. It shows the desperate calculating behaviour adopted by Hank - and how the simple plans change him as a person(less)

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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  31,244 ratings  ·  1,385 reviews

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Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I finished A Simple Plan a few days ago, and here I am sitting at work, eating a Lara Bar on my lunch break, and I’m still thinking about it. I hope to watch the movie tonight so I can just get all of this Simple Plan stuff out of my system. The book, not the cheesy pop punk band.

The plan is simple, and the story itself is pretty simple, too. Two brothers and a friend find a wrecked plane with a whole bunch of money inside so they decide to take the money, wait six months, and then split it all
David Putnam
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm sorry I thought that I'd written a review for this one. I loved this book and everything Smith writes. This is the story of how values and morals can devolve to the lowest levels of humanity when a great deal of money is involved. The writing craft is excellent. Smith starts off first by endearing the characters to the reader and then slowly step by step takes them down the wrong path. It is so masterfully done that I was cheering for them even when they were doing the most heinous acts. In ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperwhite, top, i-said
If a poll were taken, I wonder how many of us could confirm that they had passed tests of honesty.  You know those little tests.  A twenty dollar bill found laying about somewhere and you know who left it there,  A found wallet, fat with cash or a purse left sitting on a display table while you were shopping.  

I remember finding a twenty dollar bill laying in the ditch, when I was just a kid.  Of course I gave it to my parents, not even fully aware yet of the real value of my find.  I’m sure the
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
When it comes to Scott B. Smith it’s a good thing we got the quality because the quantity is on the low side with only The Ruins released since this one came out in 1993.

Hank Mitchell is a regular guy living in rural Ohio with his pregnant wife Sarah and a steady job as an accountant at a feed store. He isn’t close to his brother Jacob who is a high school dropout that spends most of his time drunk when not scrounging out a living. One of the few times they interact is their regular New Year’s
Dan Schwent
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joe Valdez
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-crime
I love bookmarks. My favorites are color postcards, or airline boarding passes I hold onto. I have no problem using these to mark my place in a book and pick up with it the next day or the days after. The exception to this are books like A Simple Plan, the debut novel by Scott B. Smith that I stayed up until 3:05 a.m. on a Saturday night/ Sunday morning to finish. I had to. Published in 1993, its premise is not new and one that many have asked ourselves: If you found millions of dollars in cash, ...more
I find it hilarious whenever I see negative reviews for this book and almost all the time, the reason for the negativity is that the reviewer thought that the main characters were stupid and made dumb decisions. If characters always made the right decisions or the smartest ones, there would be absolutely no drama and why the hell would anyone want to read about people who do all the right things?!

I think this was a wonderful story about how all of us are capable of terrible things if circumstanc
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you found four million dollars, what choices would you make? Keep it?, Return it?

What if there were two others with you when you found it and you were always the odd man out in your little group, yet were suddenly handed over the controls? How would it change you? Are you up to the responsibility?

One of the other two people is your brother, but he’s weak and unreliable and the other is a gambler and a drunk. Can you trust them?

If you keep the money, how far would you go not to give it up? Wou
Paul Bryant
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Yeah, baby. A step by step descent into a very private hell. Four stars from me. This was a hundred per cent better than most thrillers & crime fiction I ever read because it didn’t ask you to suspend any one tiny part of your disbelief, there were no outrageous circumstances, no floridly crazed villains, no coincidences, no corpse that did not follow on logically from the corpse before it. Scott Smith comes up with a felicitous phrase to describe what I mean on page 237:

It had the disorderly ve
Glenn Sumi
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Scott B. Smith has written only two novels, published 13 years apart. I’ve given them both 5 stars.

He works within specific genres. His novel The Ruins is horror; this book is a crime thriller. And yet both books are so well-written, so smart and feature so much psychological depth that it does them a disservice to call them anything but great literature. He’s that rare literary writer who keeps you turning pages.

A Simple Plan has a simple premise. Three men – accountant Hank, his unemployed b
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reading this novel is like watching a trainwreck taking place: you know it's terrible, you know you shouldn't do it, but somehow you can't look away from it taking place; its as if your eyes have been glued to the train and carriages, losing touch with the track, falling out, being squashed and destroyed, all with the incredibly loud and draining sound of screeching and bending metal. You look at the solid, rectangular shapes being transformed into crushed masses of steel, thrown around like the ...more
Sep 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People I dislike.
Recommended to Jennifer by: Stupid people.
I am selling this piece back to the used bookstore I got it from--pronto.


I will cut right to it. This is a book with an interesting idea, fascinating plot, but is ruined by characters who are loathesome, less sympathetic than any I have read in my life, and who do absolutely nothing believable. And not only that but I don't believe that any of these crimes could be played out and go over without a hitch the way we are supposed to believe they did, so even from a technical standpoint I
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot!

It was very easy to identify with Hank, the protagonist of this story. Imagine that you and your two siblings find a bag full of money in a plane that crashed that no one has yet discovered. Would you keep it or not? That is the gist of this story.

Just think about how one simple lie in your life could spiral out of control...into more lies and things MUCH worse than that, even. That's exactly what happened here, It was very easy to take the next step with Hank, and then
j e w e l s
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this is a good one!
When 3 men stumble upon a downed plane in the middle of a field, their lives are changed forever. Their fates decided and forever intertwined. For inside that plane lies a dead pilot and a duffle bag full of money. How much money? Approximately $4.5 million total.

What would you do? Turn it in? Call the police? Keep it?

Hank, his brother Jacob and his brother’s best friend Lou are faced with this dilemna. After counting the money on the side of the road and discussing it they formulate a plan- a
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller

Shit balls! Was this a good read or what?! This is one of those books where you genuinely can't stop reading and need to find out what is going on and how things are going to end. The best part about this book and the questions it poses are that its happening to regular folk who aren't all that dissimilar to yourself/people you know. How would you/they react in that situation.

If someone said to me, "you can find $4m with some friends but all you have to do is wait to spend it" I'd sign up st
Another sans pantalon buddy read with the squad. Last summer we read The Ruins which I quite enjoyed, and so now, we're coming back to the beginning and reading Smith's first book. And OOF. It's a doozy.

If you have lived under a rock for the last 25 years or so, the premise here is that 3 guys find a plane with a whole lotta money in it, and instead of turning it in, decide to hold onto it for 6 months until they know whether anyone's looking for it or not. If not, they split it up and go their
Jordaline Vulva
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. I am speechless.
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Scott Smith's books are, above all, methodical. For all their chaos and violence, everything seems inevitable, everyone acts logically, and yet, without fail, things go terribly, terribly wrong. It's impossible not to imagine yourself in his characters' places, wondering if you would have made similar decisions, acted in a similar way, and still come to the same calamitous end. His wildly entertaining second novel, The Ruins, placed its characters in an impossible situation that was articificial ...more
Apr 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book was probably THE most painful reading experience I have ever had. I actually finished it - more because of my own stubbornness than anything. I guess I would have to liken it to the first few weeks of American Idol where the whole point is to show you the people that are really bad. I am just too sensitive for that - I feel the pain and embarrasment they should be feeling but in some cases don't. In the case of this book the pure idiocy that these characters go through after finding th ...more
Bad idea fairy runs amok.

This is the slippery slope of decision-making, from dumb to bad to worse to WTF?! It reads like a movie, not subtle and disturbing amount of detail on the dreadful minutiae of sad lives. It's entertaining if you like slow train wrecks. I won't remember it by next week.

So what have we all learned from this?
Drive your own car and meet up.
“By doing one wrong thing, I thought I could make everything right.”
― Scott B. Smith, A Simple Plan


Well there is always that one person who just wonders what he or she missed..and with this book that person is me.

I am going against the grain here. I did not love it. Liked it..yes. Held my attention..yes. Was it well written and atmospheric? Yes. Was there a great moral message? Yes.But I did not find this book to be amazing or anything. I skimmed some reviews and there are others who f
Saurabh (सौरभ)
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing

There's a bollywood film called "Ugly" and in it's trailer it says: "When the going gets desperate, the desperate gets...Ugly." And that implies so perfectly here... because It does get DESPERATE and it does get UGLY.

It's a classic tale of found treasure, greed, desperate measures and the spiral into murderous mayhem.

It was very intense and unnerving. Very unapologetic with the depictions of flawed human psyche. The characters so masterfully crafted and the atm
Horace Derwent
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
only when i'm reading this book, i agree with the author that he said every one is the same

but i always think that every single one is different

actually, the sam raimi's film is much crueler, just another mindfuck as well as the book
Marty Fried
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
On the cover is a quote from Stephen King: "Read this. It is better than any suspense novel since Silence of the Lambs."

I don't know if I agree with King's comment. Personally, I had mixed feelings about the book. The main characters were not very likeable, so it was hard to care what happened to them. I am pretty certain I would have reported everything and hope for an honest reward; but if Jacob and Lou insisted, I might be afraid to report it. In that case, I would get away as soon as possibl
Fahad Naeem
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't read it, you're not a fan of thrillers altogether. Read it next thing in the morning.

The finest literary piece. Well-controlled and put together. Expertly crafted that in the end, one can feel bad about Hank for not getting the money.

It was absorbing, engaging and thrilling. I hope everybody gets the lesson it tells i.e. Family comes first and money doesn't buy happiness. The end was beautiful and not what I had anticipated. Scott Smith had a little interest in violenc
Steven Godin
Three golden rules when discovering a large amount of money in the wilderness,

Keep your mouth shut
Keep your mouth shut
Keep your mouth shut.

When will we ever learn?

Two brothers stumble upon $4.4 million in the smouldering wreck of a crashed plane. But make one doomed mistake. telling a wife of the discovery, this sets off a chain of events leading in only one direction, bad. A Simple Plan is a novel that slowly but surely grips, it unfolds with an inevitable and doomed spiral of events, through m
Carla Remy
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very suspenseful and fun book. Because everyone finds murder rampages fun, right? Well, okay, not in real life.
Very full novel. Lots of morality and birds.
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Crime, Mysteries ...: 08) A Simple Plan (Feb 15) 10 56 Mar 08, 2021 07:19AM  
Currently reading this 3 16 Dec 13, 2018 04:07PM  
Other books like Coen Brothers movies 1 20 Apr 10, 2017 09:33PM  
Around the Year i...: A Simple Plan, by Scott B. Smith 2 19 Oct 19, 2016 05:16AM  
Why 1 26 Jan 31, 2016 01:28PM  

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Scott Bechtel Smith is an American author and screenwriter. He has published two suspense novels, A Simple Plan and The Ruins, and adapted them for the screen.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

(from wikipedia)

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