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The Plot

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Hailed as breathtakingly suspenseful, Jean Hanff Korelitz's The Plot is a propulsive read about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.



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 writ
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: May 11th 2021 by Celadon Books
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  38 reviews


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Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)
Read this for the ending!

The Plot is about a struggling author who steals a masterful “plot” for his next novel.
A game of cat and mouse ensues between the author and a reader who knows too much, resulting in a dramatic and chilling conclusion.

Jake, a writer down on his luck, steals a plot to a novel that brings him fame, fortune, and success, but someone knows his secret and threatens exposure. In an effort to keep his secret, Jake tries to hunt down his adversary, but will they get to him
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Jayme
Once a New and Noteworthy author on the New York Times bestseller list, Jacob Finch Bonner’s novel is all but forgotten and he is teaching a writing course for a third-rate MFA program.

So, it is ALMOST comical, when student Evan Parker, attends his first session boasting that he has a PLOT so original that he is convinced that his story will not only get published, but will become a bestseller, an Oprah pick and will be optioned by an A-List producer who will make it into a movie.

He is so prot
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Michael David
To what lengths will an author take to write a successful book?

Jacob (Jake) Finch Bonner teaches a writing course that is meant to help aspiring writers improve their work, assist each other with feedback, and possibly gain an agent at the end. Writing is very important to Jake, and he misses the days when he published his first book. Although it wasn’t a huge success, it made the NYT New and Noteworthy list. His second book was a complete failure, and he hasn’t been able to get any of his othe
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Mary Beth
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Jacob Finch Bonner was once an aspiring author. Today he is teaching in a third rate MFA program. One of his students, Evan Parker, announces that he doesn't need any of Jacob's help, and that he has a plot of a book that will be on the best seller's list. He then tells Jacob of the plot of his new book.

When Jacob finds out that Evan is deceased he then steals the plot since Evan's book was never completed. The book then turns into a success. Jacob enjoys all the publicity. He is now famous and
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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Like the book referred to in this novel, I think this will be a well read and much talked about book this Spring. I found the writing to be very good in spite of the slow beginning. It took a while to set up the foundation for what was to unfold. I did not find it to be “breathtakingly suspenseful” as the blurb suggests, it’s much more of a slow buildup.

Jacob Bonner is a 40 ish writer who had a one time promising career. He wrote a novel that did quite well but then his second novel didn’t take
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Will Byrnes
…a few minutes later in the car, he found the first of the messages. It had been forwarded from the contact form on his own author website (Thanks for visiting my page! Have a question or a comment about my work? Please use the form!) just around the time as he was about to go on the air with local Seattle institution Randy Johnson, and it had already been sitting there in his own email in-box for about ninety radioactive minutes. Reading it now made every good thing of that morning, not to s
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Holly  B
Somewhat of a slow- burn that slowly turned into a fast tumbleweed that blew me away!!

Once this story took off, I couldn't stop reading to see what was going to happen next. Though it took some time to build up, it was worth the wait!

This book was nothing like I thought it would and I'm happy I read it without knowing much of anything about the plot (other than the title). It builds slowly and adds each layer by revealing secrets that left me intrigued and wanting more.

Meet the writer, Jacob
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Blaine
But there was one thing he actually did believe in that bordered on the magical, or at least the beyond-pedestrian, and that was the duty a writer owed to a story.
I received a free ARC of The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz from Macmillan in an exchange for an honest review.

All Jacob Finch Bonner wanted to be was a writer. He paid his dues, and when his first novel made a modest splash in the literary fiction market, he thought he was on his way. But then his second novel tanked. And he couldn’t ev
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Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book, to sum it up, was a fantastic read even though the first few chapters were a bit of a slow paced. I liked how informative this book was. The pace picked up when samples of stories were introduced, especially the story titled Crib. The horror of someone knowing the author's secret was a nice push, made me want to turn the pages. This book definitely answered many of my asked and unasked questions about writers, publishers, and readers including reviewers. I'm glad to be informed as an ...more
Tammy
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A writer fails to live up to the expectations after his first novel is published, wallows in self-pity and lands a gig to teach writing at an inferior MFA program. It is here that he discovers the plot to end all plots. Unfortunately, it is a plot concocted by an arrogant cocksure student. There is more wallowing and then things change. The author pens a wildly successful novel catapulting him to unimagined success. Then things change again. There is a great deal of tension as the main character ...more
DeAnn
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021, netgalley-2021
4 book world stars

We meet Jacob Finch Bonner languishing as a teacher in a struggling writing program. He had a breakout successful book years ago and can’t seem to capture the magic with anything else new that he’s written.

In this particular class, there’s an arrogant student who doesn’t think he can learn anything from the program and he’s already got the perfect plot for a blockbuster book. During a private session, he shares his plot with Jacob. It does sound like a great plot and years late
...more
Jill
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this addictive psychological thriller—I read it quickly without coming up much for air—Jean Hanff Korelitz sets a high bar for herself.

Imagine, she postulates, if an ambitious novelist is struggling to write a follow-up to a reasonably promising debut. And then his narcissistic student at a low-residency MFA program arrogantly shares his own plot, which is a surefire best seller. And then circumstances change and the novelist—Jake Finch Bonner—is able to take the framework of the plot and tur
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Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
The writing was good and well The Plot was good too. It was slow out the gate but as soon as she came on the scene I know where this was going. This was my first book by Korelitz and it was very addictive to say the least. Her writing style is very unique.
This is a book to grab and right straight to the end. You won't be able to put it down, I was hoping I was wrong and did not have it figured out from the beginning. But I still enjoyed it/
I gave The Plot 4 stars and I recommend it.
The Mary Re
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Stephen
This book was trying to be the next Gone Girl's shocking ending story but it was somewhat predictable. This could have been about 50-75 pages shorter. There was a lot of repetitive description that the main character, Jake, kept repeating about literary success and his ability to sustain it. ...more
Kristin
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book blew me away- I read it so fast and the ending is so good! No spoilers- just read it when it comes out. I’ve read so many so-so thrillers, it’s so fun to find one that really lived up to my expectations and exceeded them. This was a great read and I can’t wait to see the reviews when everyone gets a chance to read it!
Kristin (Always With a Book)
Thank you Celadon Books for the gifted copy.

It's not often that I read a book so far ahead of it's publication date but I just had to with this one. This is going to be a book everyone will be talking about...it's that good! So mark your calendars for May 11th when this one hits the shelves...you will definitely want to pick up a copy or pre-order this book.

I will say, this is a slow-burning psychological thriller but I found myself completely captivated right from the start. I absolutely loved
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switterbug (Betsey)
Jake Finch Bonner is a published author who has received some critical acclaim for a past novel, but has never achieved the kind of success and financial reward that he craves. After teaching at a “low-residency” writer’s workshop, he makes a decision that will alter the course of his life and career. It also prompts a moral question about his integrity, especially when a Twitter comment threatens to expose what he did.

Korelitz made some style and structure choices that hooked me in immediately—
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Nina
Dec 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book a lot, the beginning was a slow burn but very informative about the whole writing process, and the beginning of Jacob’s career and how to got to the present where is now a world famous author.

You get chapters from “the book” which is something that I really enjoyed and haven’t seen in too many books I have read.

The suspense was low key throughout but enough where I was wanting to see who was behind the messages trying to expose Jacob for his “stolen” story.

Towards the end is
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Sydney
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book… There's something unique about this book. I think it’s the writing style and voice of the main character but I honestly can’t put my finger on it specifically! I thought the premise for “The Plot” was intriguing and it kept my interest the whole way following the mystery. The pacing took some getting used to since months/years would pass in a page or two, but it was always directly started so you don’t get lost and there was always a purpose for the time jump.

This is a HUGE improveme
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Heidi
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In THE PLOT, a struggling author (Jake) uses the plot of a story a deceased former student (Evan) had started writing to pen his own bestselling novel. As a result, Jake starts receiving threatening messages and being bullied online by someone who knows what he did.

There are several mysteries for the reader: what was the plot of Evan’s book, who knew about the plot besides Jake, and a few others I can’t discuss due to spoilers. I guessed the answers early on (I read a lot of thrillers so it’s ve
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Jennifer (jm_bibliolater)
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz is unlike any thriller I have read. It is a very slow, psychological thriller whose ending totally blew me away. It is so, so BRILLIANT!

I love how The Plot is told in dual storylines. Not only do readers get to enjoy Jacob's story, they also get to read some portions of his "stolen" book, Crib. I love how the title Crib actually means to steal. Both The Plot and Crib are CLEVER! I absolutely love the villain in this story. And the ending? Holy smoke bombs...the en
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Cyndi
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, edelweiss
This book had such an intriguing premise that I couldn’t wait to read it and I was not disappointed. A professor and author “borrows” the plot of a deceased student and his book becomes a blockbuster hit. Soon he starts receiving emails threatening to expose him of his crime. He goes on the hunt to find out who is threatening him and why.

This actually had well-crafted excerpts of a book within the book and it worked brilliantly. It served to spice the plot up and add an abundance of suspense. Th
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Melissa
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2021
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the best plot ever really is THAT good. Once the big twist was revealed I pretty much figured out everything that came after, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment. I feel like everyone will be talking about this one the way we talked about Gone Girl
(and the way they talk about the book within this book). We’ll see if I’m right!

Thank you to NetGalley and Celadon Books for the advance copy.
Lorri Steinbacher
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prepub. Due out May 2021.

You think this is going to be the story of a sad sack writer who can't get out of his own ego's way to write his next book and that he's going to annoy you throughout. You are irritated when he decides to steal a compelling plot from a dead student. You think he is going to get what he deserves when a blackmailer appears and wants to ruin Jake's newfound success. But then the narrative swerves and you are anxious to tag along as Jake tries to uncover who is blackmailing
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Jamie W
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This suspense novel explores what happens when an author "steals" the plot of a story from another, and who really "owns" that story.

Although I was able to guess some of the twists, the ending was a huge surprise. The beginning gives us a lot of perspective into the writing process, and once the action picks up, the story kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next. I read this in one day!
...more
Grumpybookworm
Jan 04, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
I really enjoyed this for the sense of tension it created and the slow burn, however it was very predictable. I really hoped I was wrong but I knew right away where it was going.
Janet
Date reviewed/posted: January 7, 2021
Publication date: May 11, 2021

When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, AND the worst sciatica attack in your life means you MIGHT sleep 3 hours a night, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today.

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of thi
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Michelle
Feb 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Jean Hanff Korelitz's newest book, The Plot, is a solid read and well worth a look for those readers who enjoy a slow burn mystery.

Jacob "Finch" Bonner is a writer whose professional career has petered out. After a successful debut novel, he was never able to recapture the magic and is teaching at a second rate writing program in Vermont as the story begins. There, he meets a student (Evan Parker) who reveals a plot so magnificent, Evan is sure he will win the writer's pot of gold: critical accl
...more
Christine Corrigan
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz is a terrific literary thriller , and it will be a well read and much talked about book when it releases on May 11, 2021 from Celadon Books. The Plot follows the flailing career of a once promising NYT "New and Noteworthy" author, Jacob Bonner, whose first novel received the reviews and accolades in all the right places--Poets & Writers--and who went to writer's retreats at all of the places-Yaddo etc. etc. Then, his writing career nose-dived as his second novel d ...more
Susanne  Strong
Review also published on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

What happens When You Borrow or Rather-A-Hem Steal Something You So Desperately Want?

In the case of Jacob Finch Bonner, his decision to steal “The Plot” becomes quite dangerous.

If only he looked before he leaped! Then again, no one ever does.


Jacob Finch Bonner is an instructor at an MFA program. Once a somewhat successful novelist, now he’s kind of a has-been. To make matters worse, one of the students in his class is an arr
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Native New Yorker! Graduated from Dartmouth College and Clare College, Cambridge. I'm the author of six novels: 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 WH ...more

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“It was all he could do not to laugh, the lives of the vast majority of authors being far more private than they likely wished. Maybe Stephen King or John Grisham got approached in the supermarket by a quavering person extending pen and paper, but for most writers, even reliably published and actually self-supporting writers, the privacy was thunderous.” 0 likes
“All he had ever wanted was to tell—in the best possible words, arranged in the best possible order—the stories inside him. He had been more than willing to do the apprenticeship and the work. He had been humble with his teachers and respectful of his peers. He had acceded to the editorial notes of his agent (when he’d had one) and bowed to the red pencil of his editor (when he’d had one) without complaint. He had supported the other writers he’d known and admired (even the ones he hadn’t particularly admired) by attending their readings and actually purchasing their books (in hardcover! at independent bookstores!) and he had acquitted himself as the best teacher, mentor, cheerleader, and editor that he’d known how to be, despite the (to be frank) utter hopelessness of most of the writing he was given to work with. And where had he arrived, for all of that? He was a deck attendant on the Titanic, moving the chairs around with fifteen ungifted prose writers while somehow persuading them that additional work would help them improve.” 0 likes
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