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Publisher's Summary

Hailed as breathtakingly suspenseful, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot is a propulsive listen 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 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 his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then...he hears the plot. 

Jake returns to the downward trajectory of his own career and braces himself for the supernova publication of Evan Parker’s first novel: but it never comes. When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that - a story that absolutely needs to be told. 

In a few short years, all of Evan Parker’s predictions have come true, but Jake is the author enjoying the wave. He is wealthy, famous, praised and read all over the world. But at the height of his glorious new life, an email arrives, the first salvo in a terrifying, anonymous campaign: You are a thief, it says.

As Jake struggles to understand his antagonist and hide the truth from his readers and his publishers, he begins to learn more about his late student, and what he discovers both amazes and terrifies him. Who was Evan Parker, and how did he get the idea for his “sure thing” of a novel? What is the real story behind the plot, and who stole it from whom?

©2021 Jean Hanff Korelitz (P)2021 W F Howes

What listeners say about The Plot

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • the typist
  • 07-08-21

Brilliantly meta thriller, with an awesome twist.

Loved, loved, loved this! Intriguing, tightly written with a great twist. Gets a little silly towards the end, with a totally shark jumping finale. But it’s not silly enough to wreck the story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Andrea Edan
  • 18-11-21

Nice complex plot, well written.

This is one of those books that you immediately want to recommend to others. Sort of like the story itself. It is well written page turner that although dealing with different, but connected, stories does it well and you don't lose the thread. An easy read which, considering the complexity of the "plot", is admirable. The narrator was OK though not my best. I couldn't resist trying to find out if the author had any connection with Helene Hanff (such an unusual name) of "84 Charing Cross Road" fame and discovered that she is indeed her cousin. In case you are also wondering.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-09-21

A gripping tale

Absolutely loved this book. I normally don’t like books about writers but this totally changed my mind. It was so well told. I was hooked within the first 10 mins and finished it in a couple of days (I normally listen to a book over the course of a month.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alexandra
  • 03-09-21

Disappointing on many levels

I had read the twist was easy to spot but thought I might enjoy going along for the ride anyway. Unfortunately that wasn't the case and I couldn't even bring myself to finish it once it was so obvious.

Also, for the first half of the book we keep hearing about this incredible, totally original plot that makes the character's book a smash hit. I kept wishing I was reading that book instead of this one; but later on the plot of that book is revealed and it's not at all original or incredible.

Such a let down.

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  • Niall K
  • 12-08-21

enjoyable story, worth it. robotic narration

I was sure the narrator wasn't human for the first 3 minutes. a combination of low quality audio and a robotic delivery made me sure I was listening to a machine. But it gets better. The story is good, nice and cynical. Quite a black comedy. Very meta about writing. With nice substories to enjoy within the main story about the pathetic tortured creature that is the average novel writer.

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  • Mary D
  • 18-10-21

Quite fun, well written

I would have given this a higher score if I hadn’t guessed the main thrust of the ending so early on. The reader grew on me over time. I most enjoyed all the behind the scenes publishing /writerly angst stuff which for me was the best part of the novel.

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  • MR STUART MOFFATT
  • 03-10-21

Not “breathtakingly suspenseful”

The book itself is moderately entertaining but I was a bit irritated to learn that Bonner did effectively write the fictional novel himself after seeing only a few pages of the original work, which undermines the story and makes his reaction to the accusation of plagiarism a bit unbelievable. Also, the plot of the fictional novel turned out to be mediocre rather than revolutionary. On the upside, I did not pick up on the clues and did get caught out by the ending.

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  • Mrs Gillian Gibson
  • 28-08-21

Disappointing

I thought I had worked out the twist in this novel less than half way through it but I kept hoping I was wrong and it couldn’t be that obvious. I wasn’t and it was which was so disappointing. I found the reader’s American accent a bit irritating .

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  • dimp
  • 04-08-21

so long and rambling with no point to any chapters

grrrrrr grrrr grrrrrrr grrrrrr grrrrr woody Allen whining grrrrvgrrrrrcgrrrcgg grrrr grrr grr grrr grrr

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  • Bookworm Lee
  • 13-07-21

Fun, funny at times, pacy and also dark

I love the world of writing and writers and this was such an expose plus a romp with great characters and twists and relatable family tragedy. Good pace, great structure, kept me engaged the whole way through, and narration on 1.4 speed helps move things along! Recommend as a good winter listen.

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  • LouE
  • 03-06-21

Performance and storyline need some work

Unfortunately the performance was a bit robotic to start, it sounded like voice to text which was a bit off putting and annoying to listen to but it seemed to improve into the second half. I enjoyed the idea of the story but there were quite a few times that I thought were gaps and not well executed in the flow or convincing probability. Overall I liked it but didn’t love it.

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  • Jennine Cassidy
  • 07-10-21

A good book, worth a read.

I enjoyed this book. It was a little slow to start, and I think sometimes the author over explained things…wrote a paragraph when a sentence would have done. But the story was compelling and I while you do guess the twist before the end, he keeps you wanting to know why and how all the way along.