Audiobook Review | The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

The PlotTitle: The Plot
Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 Stars)
Publisher: Celadon Books
Release Date: May 11, 2021

“But there was one thing he actually did believe in that bordered on the magical, or at least the beyond-pedestrian, and that was the duty a writer owed to a story.”


I can’t say I’m disappointed by The Plot, but I can’t say it surpassed my expectations either. It’s that weird in between of books I enjoyed, would recommend, but won’t stick with me.

We follow Jacob Finch Bonner, an author whose career is on the decline and he’s regulated to a bottom-tier creative writing program filled with young, up and comers all to ready to take Bonner’s place. When arrogant Evan Peters reluctantly shares the “sure thing” plot for the book he is writing, Jacob waits for Evan’s story to take over the world. But years pass, and nothing comes of Evan’s revolutionary idea. After Jacob learns of Evan’s passing, he brings the story to life and becomes a sensation. An acclaimed author with endless praise heaped upon him, but after about a year – Jacob starts receiving anonymous messages accusing him of plagiarism and he discovers he might be on a downward spiral once more.

I liked that this story discussed writing and ownership. It was kind of a cool and unique through line in a story about writing. I also thought the audiobook was excellent and I appreciated getting little excerpts of Jacob’s written novel ‘Crib.’ But I do have to say I was a bit disappointed as well. I was able to pinpoint a characters involvement pretty early on in the story – and while I didn’t know everything, I definitely knew something. I also thought the end got a little monologue-y for my taste.

The Plot does have a bit of a slow start, but the story builds very well and keeps you engaged with both Bonner’s narration and the samples of Crib included. We learn information as Jacob does and that’s always a fun device in mystery stories. It does have academia-vibes because of the writing angle, so I automatically associate it with fall, but I feel like this would be a perfect transition book between late summer and fall or something that will put you in a mood for mysteries!

I received an advanced audiobook copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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