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A Simple Plan Paperback – 1994

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Corgi Books (1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552141437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552141437
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.4 x 10.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)

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4.1 out of 5 stars

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rottenberg's rotten book review on April 30 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A simple man with a simple and happy life suddenly has the opportunity to reach for something more when he and his even more simple brother and his simpler brother's tirelessly greedy friend discover the snow-covered wreck of an airplane. When the three find the horribly crow-ravaged body at the controls of the wreck, their first impulse is to call the local police of their rural town. Then they find the flier's cargo, a duffle bag bursting with hundred dollar bills, and they realize a chance that will kill them unless taken. The narrator and his brother Jacob are safe after a youth of uncertainty - their parents were killed in a freak accident that left the two indebted orphans. While the narrator seems to have adjusted to his comfortable, if nondescript life, his brother is a scarred shell, a delayed boy in a sad sack's body. Then there's Sarah, the narrator's prgenant wife who soon becomes the brains of the operation. The crew works slowly and carefully, taking small actions meant to preserve the veil they've woven, only to compound the risk of their discovery. Every move to further hide themselves and their money leads to further complications, driving them to even more desperate measures until their plans have become too costly to reverse. By the end of the book, we've seen an incredible metamorphosis of the narrator, not into an evil man - he's always the same simple guy, only he's discovered in himslef an incredible reservoir of willingness to perpetrate evil to protect what the money he didn't even want. It's an evil not the product of greed but by the narrator's being too simple to say "no".Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is very similar to the movie, which is probably because Scott B. Smith was granted the opportunity to write the screenplay to the film as well. "A Simple Plan" tells the story of two brothers, Hank and Jacob, who find a crashed plane in a forest near their home towns with a friend of Jacob's, Lou. In the plane is a bag of money -- over $4 million. Conflicted over ideas of who owns the money, where it came from, and how it would change their lives for the better if they kept it, they eventually agree to sit on the money for six months, until the spring thaw and the plane is found; if there is no mention of missing money, they agree to split it three ways.
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.
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By A Customer on July 7 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this novel after having already viewed the movie by the same name. The book and film start off nearly identically: Two brothers (Hank and Jacob) and Jacob's friend Lou find a bag containing more than $4 million in a crashed plane in the woods. They agree to hold onto the money for several months, while waiting to see if it is marked or if they will be caught if they attempt to spend it. If nothing happens in six months, the three men will split the money, leave town, and live happily ever after while enjoying the finest things in life. Only, as you already surely know, the plan turns out to be not so simple. Instead, it goes horribly awry.
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.
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