A Simple Plan Mass Market Paperback – Sep 25 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Once one accepts the bizarre premise of Smith's astonishingly adept, ingeniously plotted debut thriller, the book fulfills every expectation of a novel of suspense, leading the reader on a wild exploration of the banality of evil. Indeed, it is difficult to believe that a tyro writer could have produced so controlled and assured a narrative. When Hank Mitchell, his obese, feckless brother Jacob and Jacob's smarmy friend Lou accidentally find a wrecked small plane and its dead pilot in the woods near their small Ohio town, they decide not to tell the authorities about the $4.4 million stuffed into a duffel bag. Instead, they agree to hide the money and later divide it among themselves. The "simple plan" sets in motion a spiral of blackmail, betrayal and multiple murder which Smith manipulates with consummate skill, increasing the tension exponentially with plot twists that are inevitable and unpredictable at the same time. In choosing to make his protagonist an ordinary middle-class man--Hank is an accountant in a feed and grain store--Smith demonstrates the eerie ease with which the mundane can descend to the unthinkable. Hank commits the first murder to protect his brother and their secret; he eerily rationalizes the ensuing coldblooded deeds while remaining outwardly normal, hardly an obvious psychopath. Smith's imagination never palls; the writing peaks in a gory liquor store scene that's worthy of comparison to Stephen King at his best. Two things are certain about this novel of moral corruption: it will rocket to the top of the bestseller lists and the movie (rights have been sold to Mike Nichols) should be a corker. 75,000 first printing; BOMC and QPB alternates.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
YA-On an afternoon jaunt, Hank, his brother, and a friend accidentally discover a wrecked plane. Inside they find the dead pilot and a sack containing four million dollars. The men know that they should notify the authorities, but instead they devise a foolproof scheme for keeping the money. They will hide it for one year, tell no one, live normally, and then divide the loot into three equal portions. Nothing can go wrong with such a simple plan-or can it? Smith draws his characters deftly, fully exploring the changes that occur in each of the men after their discovery. The plot is clever, gripping, and full of twists. As Hank narrates the story, the tension builds slowly, but is sustained until the surprise ending. YAs will quickly become caught up in this polished suspense novel.
Judy Sokoll, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Of course, things don't go as planned, and the novel takes twist after twist which propels Hank, the narrator of the story, into deeper and deeper moral quagmires. With each choice he makes to protect their theft and his sure wealth, he adds new things he would take the fall for should they be discovered, and new things he must live with on his conscience.
While the plot is very similar eventwise to the movie, there are a few deviations -- and, strangely enough, they almost always seem to work in the movie's favour. I watched -- and absolutely loved -- the movie a few years ago, so I knew the basic plot and was pleased to see the similarities. I count the movie among the best pure "moral" movies ever made, where the underlying principle is just a dilemma about doing the right things. But there are things which were in the novel which make Hank's choice less sympathetic than in the movie. In the movie I felt that his choices were truly, as Sarah rationalizes, without choice at all, just outcomes of their initial choice to sit on the money, things that had to follow. He never does anything which is premeditated and malicious.Read more ›
The movie and book are the same in the way that the plan initially begins to fail. Hank and Jacob encounter the same problems with Dwight Pederson, Lou and his girlfriend Nancy. From there, the movie and book take their respective audiences down different paths that I will not reveal.
I liked the movie's path better, because I could better understand and appreciate Hank's actions in the movie. He comes off as less heartless, and it is easier to see his transformation from a good person to a man who has done completely evil things. Hank is far more ruthless and calculating in the book, and this is harder to accept in light of his beginnings as a normal, good man. It's hard to discuss the differences between the two media without giving too much away.
However, I cannot say that I was at all disappointed in the book. It kept me completely riveted. For the most part, the characters were completely realistic and simply entangled in an awful mess that they feel powerless to free themselves from. After finishing the book, the enormity of the character's losses took my breath away. I was left wondering whether, even if everything had gone according to the original plan, any of the characters would have been any happier than they had been prior to finding the money.
Most recent customer reviews
I know most people have rated this book much better than I, but unfortunately I found this book to be a little boring. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2008 by WP
Like others, I'm tempted to gravitate from a book review to a movie review, because after reading one and seeing the other, it's difficult not to make comparisons. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2004 by Wallace Depp
A Simple Plan is an excellent tale of blackest heart suspense. Shocking, to say the least. One of the best novels of ordinary people pitted against extraordinary circumstances... Read morePublished on May 13 2003 by Ryan Costantino
I feel that A Simple Plan by Scott Smith is an excellent suspense novel. This novel tells the story of Hank Mitchell, who finds 4. Read morePublished on March 9 2003 by Pollux812
This book was jammed packed with suspense from the start. Hank Mitchell and his pregnant wife Sarah start out with normal lives and are very happy people in the beginning. Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2003 by Eric R.
Hank and Sara go awry with their simple plan to keep the money. It would have been so easy if the players had kept to the plan. But Hank's buddies betray him. Read morePublished on Dec 8 2002
First of all, I must say it~s no very frequent that a debut novel be adpated to a movie as was the case with this one. So, it must have some quality..
And it does. Read more
this is avery good book, but however this is one thing i could not ignore, there no way the cops could trace this all back to hank, mainly the one beack at the liquior store. Read morePublished on Oct. 9 2002
Scott Smith's "A Simple Plan" is the tale of ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances--and who struggle to transcend those circumstances. Read morePublished on Sept. 12 2002 by Catherine S. Vodrey