The Plot is one of the best novels I’ve ever read about writers and writing. It’s also insanely readable and the suspense quotient is through the roof. It’s remarkable.”
—Stephen King

The story inside a novel / a scheme / a gravesite — a plot

The Plot Summary – why yes, you see what I did there

The Plot follows Jacob Finch Bonner, a second rate writer teaching at a second rate low-residency MFA program. His first novel received noteworthy praise, but didn’t do well enough to propel him as an author. Bonner’s second novel — or collection of short stories framed as a novel — flopped.

An ornery student convinced that writing can’t be taught, Evan Parker, tells Bonner the plot for his novel in a private mentor/mentee meeting. Parker says that not only will his novel be a New York Times Bestseller, but will also be chosen for Oprah’s book club and be produced into a film with an A-list director and producer. Bonner thinks the kid is an overwhelming narcissist until he hears the plot. Jacob has to agree — the kid’s novel will be going places.

Bonner waits and waits to see this novel released. It never comes. When he looks into Evan Parker, he learns that Parker died not too long after attending that fateful meeting in his office. Bonner takes up Parker’s idea and writes the novel.

The Verdict

What follows is a thriller for the ages. Murder, secret identities, and a big twist. This thriller features a novel inside a novel, and the pages do make you race for answers. Unfortunately, the twist is an extremely predictable one. It seemed unbelievable that readers wouldn’t figure the twist out. Does Korelitz take us for fools?

The first half of the novel was heart racing, as Jacob completes his manuscript and begins receiving threatening messages accusing him of plagiarism. After about the halfway point, the plot and subsequent reveal became a little mangled and uninteresting. I knew how this would end, and I dragged my feet trying not to end up at the predictable, seen-it-from-a mile-away ending that totally did end up happening anyway.

The thriller started off with a pounding vibrato that ended in a screeching halt. I can only give this one a halfway rating. Read this one for the quick, not so life changing fun of a thriller. Skip it if you aren’t happy with predictable endings or if you are looking for more substance. It’s your choice.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)