Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Audio Review: The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz


The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Publication Date: May 11th 2021 by Macmillan Audio
Pages: 364
Audio Book Length: 10 hrs 43 min
Narrators: Kirby Heyborne
Source: Publisher
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Audible | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Jacob Finch Bonner is struggling to write his second novel after his first book was a modest success, however, things aren’t going as well as he thought. His success and experience make him the perfect candidate to teach at Ripley’s a writer’s workshop/retreat. This is where he encounters Evan Parker, a loud, arrogant guy who claims he has the perfect plot. A plot no writer could mess up, a guaranteed success, and Even claims he doesn’t need any sort of teaching to help him along. When Jacob hears the plot he’s stunned, because Jacob thinks Evan is right. This plot will catapult this asshole into fame, giving Evan everything Jacob has ever dreamed of as a writer: Critical acclaim, book tours, a spot on Oprah’s Book Club Couch.

Years later when Jacob’s prospects keep dwindling as his new books are rejected over and over he’s reduced to taking odd editing jobs and the random writer’s workshop. His situation is depressing but things are about to change when Jacob discovers that not long after Ripley’s Evan died without ever writing “The Book”. Here is a once in a lifetime plot that begs to be told and who better than Jacob? Jacob writes the story and it’s exactly as predicted: fame, accolades, movie deal, and here’s when the other shoe drops. Jacob gets an email calling him a thief. 

Jacob was a bit self-absorbed and pretentious, but I couldn’t help but root for this guy! His life was going downhill, and I have a soft spot for the underdog! I didn’t even feel bad when he sort of lifted the idea (although, apparently you can’t copyright a plot) off of Evan, because who wants a jerk to win and come out ahead? Evan is dead and didn’t leave anyone who cared about him behind, so who’s sending the threatening emails? Jacob must go back and investigate Evan and his background to find out.

The Plot was captivating even when things are pretty calm at the beginning!  I had my suspicions, but even so when things started to come together I had that “aha!” moment where I was shocked! Love being taken by surprise!

I’m familiar with Kirby Heyborne as a narrator and have enjoyed his performances in the past. I loved him as the quiet, flawed Jacob Finch Bonner! I listened at my normal 1.5x normal speed.

4 Stars

Book description:

Jean Hanff Korelitz’s 'THE PLOT' is a psychologically suspenseful novel 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?


  1. I'm definitely interested in reading this one soon. I've seen some reviews of this book that pretty much share your sentiment! I like the calm before the storm beginning and the chaos that promises to ensue. Lol.

  2. I've heard good things about this one! :)

    1. I was pleasantly surprised as this is a new-to-me-author! :)

  3. I feel like this book has been all over the place. I am almost positive that I would enjoy it. I might have to check out the audio.

  4. I have been seeing this book around. It's a very interesting concept, and I always root for the underdog too.

  5. I also enjoy Kirby Heyborne. Fabulous review! It sounds like a good one.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. I really enjoyed his performance in Bryn Greenwood's The Reckless Oath We Made. He was great here!

  6. I really enjoyed this one too, though I think I liked the idea of it more than I liked the final execution.

    1. I ended up liking this more than I thought I would. Not the way I hoped it turn out, but I still thought the story was really good!