The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
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The Plot

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  44,572 ratings  ·  7,048 reviews
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 written--let alone published--anything decent in years. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn't need Jake's help because the plot of h ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 11th 2021 by Celadon Books
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Connie I figured it out early, but that didn't keep the book from being suspenseful. I loved that there were really three plots - the actual events, Evan's s…moreI figured it out early, but that didn't keep the book from being suspenseful. I loved that there were really three plots - the actual events, Evan's story, and Jake's story. Each took unexpected turns. Clever and creative structure.(less)
Tom Holehan I immediately was reminded of "Death Trap", Ira Levin's play and the film version starring Michael Caine. The has-been author stealing the plot of his…moreI immediately was reminded of "Death Trap", Ira Levin's play and the film version starring Michael Caine. The has-been author stealing the plot of his younger student...(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Jul 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
♥️ ♥️ Favorite of 2021 - Mystery/Thriller ♥️ ♥️
He'd always known a good plot when he saw one.
Jacob Finch Bonner is a has-been. His first novel was well-received, but that was years ago and he knows he hasn't come up with anything good since then. He now teaches a writing course. When one of his students boasts to having a plot that will blow the literary world away, Jacob is naturally skeptical. But when he hears the plot, even he cannot deny its power. So what happens next? Best not spoil i
Apr 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
After finishing The Plot, it seems to me that author Jean Hanff Korelitz has the following:

1. A giant set of cojones. To write an actual novel about the plot of a fictional novel that’s so good it will be a guaranteed best seller, and to include that fictional novel within your actual novel? Yeah, that’s pretty ballsy.

2. Writing chops. This is a well-written *literary* thriller, where form doesn’t heed to function. Yes there’s a great plot to The Plot, but it’s framed with crafty sentences and g
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 (somewhere around 37%), it was worth the wait!

This book was nothing like I thought it would be 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
Mar 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz 

Jacob Finch Bonner has a well received published book behind him but has been unable to get much or any attention for his later attempts at the next great novel. Years later he's struggling, working at jobs connected to writing, becoming the cliché of "those who can, do, those who can't, teach". He's his own worst critic, considering himself nothing if he can't write, mired in years long writer's block and incredibly jealous of anyone with current writing success.
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
Dec 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Shit, this was everything I was hoping it would be. This was one of my most highly anticipated thrillers of the year and this book DELIVERED. I listened to this as an audiobook (huge thanks to Macmillan Audio) and I finished it in ONE SITTING. I don't think that's even happened to me before, finishing a 10 hour audiobook in one sitting has never happened but I was absolutely engaged and obsessed with this story and I had to know where it was going.

This story follows a professor named Jacob who o
Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Another good news about this book’s adaptation to the limited series: Two times Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will be the leading actor! 🤗🎉
Wow! Such an impressive book is questioning how demanding job to be a writer and how much sacrifices you may make or how far you go to create your dream work. A thought provoking approach to be writer and be part of literature industry.

I have to admit: this book’s plot so similar David Bell’s” kill your darlings”I recently finished. At that book a literature pr
Jul 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
love, love, love the concept of this one. the synopsis kind of reminded me of the film, ‘the words,’ so i was super excited to pick this up. books about books and authors are totally my thing, so i knew i would really enjoy the plot.

however, from page one, the writing style was a struggle for me. its well-written, without a doubt, but its not something that caters to my personal reading style. the narrative is very descriptive-heavy, with long paragraph after long paragraph of description, and
Apr 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely one of my favorite covers. It cleverly reflects both the 'book within a book' aspect of the story, and the dual meaning of the word PLOT.
I have an advanced copy (thank you NetGalley and Celadon Books!!) and it doesn't say who the designer is but I'll update this when I find out.

I had never read anything by Korelitz before so I was happy to see that her writing is VERY engaging and in-depth.
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘭𝘰𝘵 builds up great momentum and although a couple parts were kinda predictable
4.5 stars
Do writers own their words? Of course. But do writers own a plot or an idea? Of course not, right? Most of us would consider it ludicrous to think a writer owns a plot. But what if someone does not? What if they feel wronged? How far will they go?

Writer Jacob Finch Bonner is a sad sack. He was a one-hit wonder, but now finds himself struggling to write anything and teaching at a third rate MFA program.

Then his luck turns. Jake seizes the opportunity to take (‘steal”?) a plot as his ow
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
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
Lisa of Troy
May 19, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Jacob Finch Bonner is a has-been. Once upon a time, he was a moderately successful author, but his spark has slowly dimmed and faded as a writer. He finds himself relegated to teaching writing courses that will allow anyone to attend. One day, he meets Evan Parker, a new student of his. Parker has a great idea for a novel, and Bonner agrees that it will be a best-selling book. Fast forward a few years, and Bonner discovers that Parker has died without ever publishing his book. It is a story that ...more
Jul 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderfully intriguing psychological thriller from Jean Hanff Korelitz that immerses the reader into the world of writers and publishing, and aspects that are integral to it, including reviewers, book tours, interviews and fans. Jacob 'Jake' Finch Bonner was once a critically acclaimed author, if not a commercial success, but his second book sank without trace and his other books could not even secure a publisher. He clings onto his past success which has him tutoring would be writers ...more
Susan's Reviews
May 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an Audio ARC of of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I truly admired the author's writing abilities and obvious intelligence. I even enjoyed many of the discussions about artistic inspiration and how writers take from and build on other author's ideas and plots. (I cringe every time I hear allegations of plagiarism in either the publishing or music industry. To my mind, hasn't every trope, conflict or life drama been depicted in just
Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Books about books: give them to me anytime and I'll be the happiest reader alive!

You can plagiarize words, but is it possible to steal a plot?

It took me a couple of pages to familiarize myself with the author's writing style, but after that, I was hooked. Korelitz kept me engaged throughout the different parts of the story and there are no words to explain how I loved entering the book world for a day! However, I thought the famous stolen plot would be a bit more astonishing.

About the ending: I
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
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz is a 2021 Caledon Books publication.

Jacob Finch hit it big with his first novel – at least with the literary crowd- garnering him an air of respect. His attempt to follow up with the next great American novel never quite got off the ground.

Now he’s forced to teach to make ends meet. The best position he’s able to manage is far from prestigious-The MFA program at Ripley College.

Here he meets Evan Parker, a narcissistic student who claims to have a near perfect p
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
A book about a book? Yes please! 🙌Of course I am going to love that! However, this turned out to be more brilliant of a plot...yes I know...than I even imagined. This was such a unique premise and I couldn't read this fast enough. 😍

If someone tells you about their idea for a book- they don't even show you the actual book...because they have not written it yet...well ...what if they never write it? What if they are never going to write it...because they can't...well is it wrong for you to take th

even though i am not an instagram-person, i accepted celadon's invitation to be part of their little free library promotion for this book, and here i am dropping a copy off at

Charter #106653
Woodside Little Library
55-01 32nd Avenue
Woodside NY 11377
Lat: 40.7557514
Long: -73.906108

see the people who DO use instagram doing the same thing today @celadonbooks, #ThePlotBook

All Jacob Finch Bonner had ever wanted to be was a writer.

well, those
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
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
May 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
I want to begin this review with a thank you to all of the other reviewers that came before me that warned of the slow start. It took me about 60 pages in before I felt any connection to this story. I might have put this aside if I hadn't gotten that warning and that would have been a shame because this was really well done.

Who owns the plot to a story? That's the question we ponder through out.

Jacob Finch Bonner meets an aspiring writer - albeit an arrogant aspiring writer - at an MFA program
Sheyla ✎
May 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Jacob Finch Bonner has the story of his life. He knows it needs to be written. Too bad it's not his story to tell.

As an unhappy teacher in an MFA program, Jacob is going through the motions. When classes begin, he meets a sullen student, Evan Parker. Evan is disrespectful towards Jacob. He also doesn't think Jacob can teach him anything and doesn't try to hide his feelings. During their only one-on-one meeting, Evan says he has the best plot for a novel. He's sure when he is done writing it, eve
Elyse  Walters
“The Plot” is clever, savvy, and smart.
Stepping into Jean Hanff Korelitz’s literary world,
was an ‘honest-to-goodness’ crazy fun thrilling ride.

It’s not completely without flaws....but there are moments of brilliance that make up for them.

I enjoyed the entire exploration about people who write books....
their passions, urgency, arrogance, insecurities, drive, goals.... etc.

It was interesting to think about creative writing MFA programs....and why some writers bond with other writers, and why
Tamar...playing hooky for a few hours today
The Plot is a slow burning and highly entertaining novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz. I loved it and I loved the narrator, Kirby Heyborne, whose voice I recognized immediately as the narrator who hypnotized me in Kubica’s Don’t You Cry.

Jake Bonner is an author whose first novel was reviewed favorably in the NYTimes Book Review, where he was labeled, an author to keep your eye on. Several years (book rejections) later, he is on the Ripley College writer’s workshop circuit, a misanthrope charged with
Catherine Woodward
**Many thanks to @CeladonBooks and Jean Hanff Korelitz for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 5.11!**

ANYONE can be a writer.

At least, that's what the students at Jacob Finch Bonner's seminar believe. Although Jacob has been slogging along since the publication of his first book, desperately searching for the next great idea and for purpose in his life, teaching this band of misfits wasn't exactly what he had in mind. One aspiring writer in particular, Evan Parker, has too much 'tude and no
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, netgalley
Jacob Finch Bonner had fallen on hard times. His first book was a moderate success, but book two was a flop and books three and four can’t even get published. He’s been reduced to teaching at a third rate MFA writing program. There, he encounters Evan Parker, the most obnoxious person anyone could have as a student. Evan is convinced he’s got the next best seller, on a par with Gone, Girl. When he dies later, never having published his supposed masterpiece, Jake steals the idea. And sure enough, ...more
Apr 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"How many times, looking back at this night, the very last night of a time he would always afterward think of as "before" would he wish that he hadn't been so utterly, fatally wrong? How many times, in spite of the astonishing good fortune set in motion by one of those folders, would he wish he'd backed his way out of the sterile office, retraced his own muddy footprints down the corridor, returned to his car, and driven those many hours back to New York and his ordinary, personal failure? Too m ...more
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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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“You’re only as successful as the last book you published, and you’re only as good as the next book you’re writing. So shut up and write.” 4 likes
“Good writers borrow, great writers steal. —T. S. Eliot (but possibly stolen from Oscar Wilde)” 4 likes
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