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The Plot: A Novel
by Hanff Jean Korelitz

Published: 2022-05-03T00:0
Paperback : 336 pages
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** NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! ** The Tonight Show Summer Reads Winner ** A New York Times Notable Book of 2021 **

"Insanely readable." ?Stephen King

Hailed as "breathtakingly suspenseful," Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot is a propulsive read about a story too good not to steal, and ...

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** NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! ** The Tonight Show Summer Reads Winner ** A New York Times Notable Book of 2021 **

"Insanely readable." ?Stephen King

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 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 e-mail 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?

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Discussion Questions

From the author:

1. Is writing an innate talent, or can it be taught?
2. Do you think Jake would have stolen the story if he knew where it came from?
3. Does anyone have the right to tell someone else’s story?
4. What constitutes plagiarism? Did Jake cross that line?
Submitted by OMG! Bookclub (Oakville, ON)
5. What role does gossip and social media play in this story?
6. Which did you enjoy more, the story within the novel or the plot itself? Submitted by Canadian Book Enablers (Kitchener, ON)
7. Who did you suspect @TalentedTom was?
8. The author includes a number of literary allusions throughout
the novel; which ones did you notice? Submitted by Tough Old Birds (St. Louis, MO)
9. Consider the triple meaning of the word “plot”—a story, a
gravesite, a secret plan. How did the author involve each of
these in the novel?
10. Discuss the conclusion. Were you surprised by the ending?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by Jamie L. (see profile) 03/06/24

by Paige J. (see profile) 01/16/24

by Linda S. (see profile) 02/15/23

by Michele A. (see profile) 11/20/22

Highly recommend. Enjoyed the New England/NY vibes

by Amy J. (see profile) 07/05/22

by Anna C. (see profile) 04/03/22

  "A quick read with twists and turns."by Gail R. (see profile) 01/17/22

The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz, author; Kirby Heyborne, narrator
When, Bonner, a down at heel writer, a one-novel success, cannot get a publisher to publish the additional novels he has aut
... (read more)

  "the plot"by renee f. (see profile) 01/06/22

thought the twist was easily guessed

by Meredith M. (see profile) 10/05/21

by ELIZABETH V. (see profile) 04/22/21

If you are a writer or work in the publishing industry, THE PLOT is for you. As a matter of fact, the good reviews of this book that I’ve seen have been written by people in the publishing... (read more)

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