Social Icons

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

A Review by Wendy

 4.5 Be Careful What You Wish For Stars
* * * * 1/2 

Spoiler Free

When I saw this blurb, I clicked immediately. As a reader/reviewer, the art of writing is near and dear to me. I started it, dug in, and was captivated by the two major points of this book. Yes, it is a mystery/thriller and I loved that...but it also put out there this bare, raw, and vulnerable reveal of what it is like to have that need, that desire to write, to appreciate the wonder of what words can do.

Our main fella isn't really a hugely likable character.
The main thing about him is his early understanding of words and stories. He was advanced in his observations and decided to read books way more advanced for his age. He grew to realize writing was something that needed nurturing, devotion, and a focus to the point of sacrifice. He worked harder, applied to all the necessary programs, awards, scholarships, anything that would advance him in the writing field.

And then it happened, after all the years of schooling, programs, and dedication, he was published and recognized as a promising new voice. He experienced that was a high like no other. His book had made a little mark for him and then he needed to do his second book to hold onto his place among those who were considered worthy.

It was that second book curse, he experienced it and never really recovered from it. He was published after many submissions, it never being anything to be proud of. He was on that ugly spiral, the downward journey that had him becoming what many shift to...a teacher.

It is as this teacher for a program for those who wish to write and come to for guidance. It was almost a joke to have him teaching this as he had no real concern anymore for these minds. He did when he first was hired for the program but now he was just marking time and cashing the small check.

This story starts to move forward when we get to the major set-up for this book, an arrogant, entitled guy is part of this session, and his attitude in how he behaves has us immediately disliking him. The joke, of course, is he won't talk about his project when the group first meets and it seems the only reason he is here is to try to get an agent and put a program on his resume. Full of himself would be the perfect description.

This guy has a scheduled time to meet with our teacher and before the meeting, our teacher searches for the required submission needed for the course. It is read, then re-read because it isn't the usual drivel he gets. No, this is different. It is descriptive but with few words. You feel the place and who the people are...the conflict and pain just under the surface. Prepared to deal with this ass, the meeting starts.

It is during this meeting, our author is juggling, dancing back and forth with this guy. It finally comes down to the challenge from the guy daring him to ask about this "Sure Thing" plot for his book. After a back and forth of mental gymnastics for the power play, the guy tells the teacher what is his plot.

It is devastating...It is something that defies all the rules of plotting, of how there are only so many that can happen. It is perfect and everything the jerk had said that would happen when he writes this, will come true.

This is the first part of the book. Heady, right. The book is done in parts and the next one is three years later and our writer has continued down his spiral of non-writing becoming a manager for a writers retreat. It is while he is there when his life will be presented his writing crossroads.

I could not stop reading this, even when I needed to do other things. It presented an interesting theory about the responsibility of words and how the gift of something given needs to be taken seriously, how there is this purpose that must get them out, to not turn your back on them. To revere them, nurture them, and take on their responsibility.

Yes, there is so much more than the concepts of writing, there is a terrific mystery/thriller story too. Our fella took on so much more than he ever could have thought when he decided to go on his path with his new book. 


About Jean Hanff Korelitz

Jean Hanff Korelitz is the author of the novels YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN (adapted for HBO as "The Undoing" by David E. Kelley, and starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant and Donald Sutherland), ADMISSION (adapted as the 2013 film starring Tina Fey), THE DEVIL AND WEBSTER, THE WHITE ROSE, THE SABBATHDAY RIVER and A JURY OF HER PEERS. 
A new novel, THE PLOT, will be published on May 11th 2021. Her company BOOKTHEWRITER hosts "Pop-Up Book Groups" in NYC, where small groups of readers can discuss new books with their authors.

No comments :

Post a Comment