Jacob Finch Bonner, the hapless protagonist of this ingeniously twisty novel from Korelitz (The Devil and Webster), teaches creative writing in a low-residency MFA program at Ripley College in Vermont. Since his first novel came out to critical acclaim years before, Jake has published virtually nothing. One of Jake’s students is cocky Evan Parker, who announces the first day of class that he’s considering using “Parker Evan” as a pen name and is well along in his novel, which he asserts has the perfect plot. Soon after leaving the residency, Evan dies, leaving the “sure thing” to gather dust. When Jake learns of Evan’s death, he uses Evan’s plot for what turns out to be a phenomenally successful bestseller. But as Jake is in the midst of a whirlwind book tour, he’s contacted by someone who knows exactly what he did and is vowing to out his literary transgression to the world. Deep character development, an impressively thick tapestry of intertwining story lines, and a candid glimpse into the publishing business make this a page-turner of the highest order. Korelitz deserves acclaim for her own perfect plot. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME. (May)
Selected as an Indie Next pick for May
A most anticipated book (AARP, Business Insider, Bustle, CrimeReads, Entertainment Weekly, LitHub, the New York Times, Oprah Daily, Parade, PopSugar, Wall Street Journal Magazine, and more!)
"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."
"The Plot is so well-crafted and compelling it’s nearly impossible to put down. Clever and chilling, this page-turner grabs you from the first chapter and doesn’t let you go until its startling, breath-taking conclusion."
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling authors of The Wife Between Us
"From its first pages, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot ensnares you in a rich tangle of literary vanities, treachery and fraud. Psychologically acute and breathtakingly suspenseful, you’ll find yourself rushing towards a finale both astonishing and utterly earned."
Megan Abbott, Bestselling author of Give Me Your Hand
"The plot of ‘The Plot’ the best thriller of the year (so far) is too good to give away"
“Korelitz’s own plot is fiendishly clever, and here's the ultimate twist: that any novel about a writer’s life (lonely, anxious drudgery) could be this wildly suspenseful and entertaining.”
People, Book of the Week
“As a longtime fan of Korelitz’s novels (including “You Should Have Known,” which was made into HBO’s “The Undoing”), I will say that I think The Plot is her gutsiest, most consequential book yet. It keeps you guessing and wondering, and also keeps you thinking: about ambition, fame and the nature of intellectual property (the analog kind).”
The New York Times Book Review
“'The Plot' is wickedly funny and chillingly grim...it deserves to garner all the brass rings."
The Wall Street Journal
"Gripping and thoroughly unsettling: This one will be flying off the shelves."
“Deep character development, an impressively thick tapestry of intertwining story lines, and a candid glimpse into the publishing business make this a page-turner of the highest order. Korelitz deserves acclaim for her own perfect plot.”
Publishers Weekly (STARRED Review)
"Readers may find themselves batting away sleep and setting an alarm for early the next day to continue Jean Hanff Korelitz’s propulsive literary thriller, The Plot. Korelitz is an audacious writer who delivers on her promises. Her next big-screen adaptation surely awaits."
"Korelitz...effortlessly deconstructs the campus novel and, much like Michael Chabon in Wonder Boys (1995), acerbically mocks the publishing industry. Fearless Korelitz presents a wry and unusual joyride of a thriller full of gasp-inducing twists as it explores copyright, ownership, and the questionable morals of writers."
“Stay tuned to this devilishly compelling tale of ambition run amok.”
“This staggeringly good literary thriller is about a staggeringly good literary thriller written by a failed novelist who has stolen the book's plot from a deceased student.”
"The author behind suspense novel You Should Have Known turned-HBO-series The Undoing outdoes herself in this literary-centric thrill ride."
“Korelitz pulls off a true page-turner with, yes, a killer plot.”
Author of You Should Have Known, basis of the new HBO show The Undoing, Korelitz returns with the story of washed-up novelist Jake Finch Bonner, now teaching in a minor MFA program. When full-of-himself student Evan Parker boasts that he's devised an unbeatable plot, Jake has to agree—and then steals the plot after Evan's untimely death. But can he get away with the theft? With a 200,000-copy first printing.
A washed-up novelist finds bestselling success with a story purloined from an arrogant student. What could possibly go wrong?
Pretty much everything in Korelitz’s satisfyingly twisty thriller. But at first, when Jacob Finch Bonner learns about the sudden death of Evan Parker, the jerk who'd swaggered into his office at a 10th-rate low-residency MFA program and shared the outrageous plot premise that was going to make him rich and famous, it seems as though taking the idea and making it his own is perfectly safe. Three years later, the resulting novel, Crib, has sold 2 million copies in nine months, and Jake has met wonderful Anna Williams, the program director of a radio show he visits while on tour in Seattle. But then he gets an email from TalentedTom@gmail.com proclaiming, “You are a thief,” and his new life threatens to unravel. Korelitz teasingly alternates the story of Jake’s desperate quest to find out who this anonymous accuser is and how he knows about Evan’s idea with chapters from Crib—just enough to stoke curiosity about what exactly this fabulous plot device is. Alert readers will guess some of the twists in advance as Jake follows the trail to Evan’s family home in Vermont and slowly realizes Evan didn’t invent this shocking story but lifted it from the real life of someone who is very, very angry about it; Korelitz plays fair and plants clues throughout. But only the shrewdest will anticipate the jaw-dropping final revelation. (Hint: Think about those Talented Mr. Ripley references.) Korelitz, who demonstrated in Admission (2009) and You Should Have Known (2014) that she knows how to blend suspense with complex character studies, falls a little short on the character end here; Jake is a sympathetic but slightly bland protagonist, and Anna has the only other fully developed personality. No one will care as the story hurtles toward the creepy climax, in the best tradition of Patricia Highsmith and other chroniclers of the human psyche’s darkest depths.
Gripping and thoroughly unsettling: This one will be flying off the shelves.