I love books about authors, bookstores, libraries, and publishing. I am drawn to stories about stories. So of course I had to read The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. The plot of The Plot (say that ten times fast) is about a struggling writer who steals a sure thing plot from a student in his creative writing class.
Jake is a writer who had decent success with his first novel (got a New York Times Review) and after two unsuccessful follow ups is not sure where his career is heading. He meets an arrogant student, Evan, who tells him about the sure thing plot of the novel he is writing. Jake learns a few years later that Evan has died and so Jake writes the story. Of course, it brings success and fame to Jake, since it is a story with a great twist.
The book has pieces of Jake’s novel interspersed in it (I am a sucker for a book within a book – so I loved this). This helps to advance the plot as you learn about Evan’s past and follow Jake’s struggles with his conscience over stealing the plot and hiding this fact from his family and fans.
Although it is billed as a mystery, the unfolding of the mystery is not the key to the book. Many reviews I saw criticized that they figured out the various plot twists way before the protagonist, but I think that was done deliberately. I found myself saying “Jake you idiot, how do you not see something that is so clear.” I don’t want to spoil any of the plot of The Plot for you, so I won’t elaborate more on the twists, but I was satisfied with how all the pieces fit together. I very much enjoyed this book and plowed through the last hundred or so pages without a break.
I selected this book for a book group that I just started with some long time friends (because hey when you belong to about a half dozen book groups, what is one more). I am looking forward to hearing their opinions.