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A Simple Plan by Scott Smith

A Simple Plan (edition 1993)

by Scott Smith

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1,266366,240 (3.85)21
Title:A Simple Plan
Authors:Scott Smith
Info:New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1993.
Collections:Read but unowned, Kindle
Tags:1990s, psychological thrillers, Ohio, movie, read in 2012

Work details

A Simple Plan by Scott Smith

  1. 00
    Angels of Light by Jeff Long (VictoriaPL)
  2. 00
    No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both are books in which found money leads to unexpected, horrific consequences.
  3. 01
    Magic by William Goldman (SomeGuyInVirginia)

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Finished reading this book. Good story. Very gripping and the progression feels natural. The characters have some flaws in them like real-life characters. They make mistakes, have some amount of conscience.

What I didn't like about the book was the gloomy, hopelessness feel throughout the story. One after another things keep taking a bad turn for them. At some point I felt that I wouldn't ever have done what the main character was doing but okay.. his life his way.

The murders wasn't good to read about. It made the book feel more like a psycho-killer kinds than a suspense thriller. But overall it kept me gripped till the end because I wanted to find out what happens to the characters and I cared about them.

I really liked his wife. She was so stable and accepting of everything. Questioned him on various occasions and provided guidance. It made me feel like maybe it's worth getting married after all.
( )
  MugenHere | Jul 12, 2015 |
Smith, Scott
A Simple Plan

This is the story of three men who find $4.5 million in the woods and become casualties of a war between fantasy and reality. From the moment these men find the money any action is rationalized in their attempt to hold on to it and escape detection. Smith's brand of suspense is so unrelenting that you will beg for mercy more than once. The movie by the same name, starring Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton, surprisingly altered the events of the story, but without any loss of quality. Both the book and the movie are good storytelling. If you like merciless suspense you will also like The Ruins, Smith's second book, which features a unique manifestation of evil as the main character. (You can skip the movie version of The Ruins.) The Blunderer, by Patricia Highsmith, is also a good choice for suspense with the added bonus of a sucker-punch ending. An equally brutal treatment of characters can be explored in Evelyn Waugh's civilized, subtle, and unforgettable A Handful of Dust; Waugh was chastised for his treatment of the protagonist and accused of hatred toward the characters.
Recommended February 2014
  dawsong | Jun 15, 2015 |
You know that phrase, circling the drain? That’s the best way to describe this novel about greed and the lengths people will go to in the name of it. Recently I was involved in an inheritance process that involved more money than at first suspected. It brought out the worst in some family members so the actions and attitudes of the people in this novel seemed on the money to me. I was a bit surprised by the fluidity of criminal schemes that Hank and Sara came up with on the spur of the moment and also their lack of caution in some areas (keeping the money under the bed? with a newborn in the house???), but mostly the book hung together. It’s basically one bad decision after another with things getting worse and worse, scene by scene.

Spoilers commencing -

There isn’t anyone to root for in this book, but there are degrees of dirt-baggery to be plumbed and not all the deaths are lamentable. Most are though and by the end I was hoping Hank would get caught. He and Sara deserved it. They don’t, but neither do they profit by their crimes and they seem pretty comfortable with them on the whole (all that self-serving justification must have gone down well). The FBI logged about 10% of the serial numbers and without knowing which bills are on the list, the whole pile is worthless. Sara tries everything in her power to hang onto it, right to the bitter end. In a way, I’m glad there wasn’t much denouement to the book since it would have meant spending more time with the two of them. I’m not sure the kid’s accident and subsequent near-vegetative state is effective as a sop to justice though. And I can’t imagine the law ignoring so many deaths in such a short time period, especially when there’s no GSR on Lou’s body. But other than those things, the story is good, compelling and reasonably believable if a sad testament to one of humanity’s least admirable traits. ( )
1 vote Bookmarque | Mar 14, 2015 |
This book was rated as one of the top thrillers ever written in Kirkus Reviews, so I wanted to read it because of that. It wasn't at all like I expected, but it's a very interesting premise for a book. Two brothers and a friend come upon a plane that has crashed in the bush and the pilot is still inside. The pilot is dead, but when Hank Mitchell goes inside the wreckage he finds a duffel bag stuffed with 4.4 million in cash. Hank instantly takes charge and makes a plan that they will take the money and keep it for six months in order to see if the money is being searched for and then, if nothing happens, the money will be divided up among the three of them. The men agree to this plan, but the finding of the money forever changes everyone involved. Reading the book was like watching a disaster unfolding. It went from one bad decision to another as Hank tries to keep the secret and to keep himself from getting caught for stealing. The genius of this author in showing so clearly "that there but for the grace of God go I", is what keeps the momentum going in this book. As I read I couldn't help but put myself into Hank's shoes and it made me question how far I would go if pushed in this way. I would hope that I wouldn't succumb to the temptation to protect the money at all costs like Hank did, but who really knows how one would act in such a situation? The violence that erupts throughout the book was a bit off-putting for me though. But as the story was told from Hank's perspective it placed me in a front-row seat, from Hank's viewpoint, to observe the depths that a seemingly ordinary person can fall to with the right temptation. ( )
1 vote Romonko | Jan 14, 2015 |
vs. movie
  ClosetWryter | Mar 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Smithprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Biondi, MarioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saarinen, OsmoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.
For my parents, with special thanks to Alice Quinn, Gail Hochman, Victoria Wilson, and Elizabeth Hill
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My parents died in an automobile accident the year after I was married.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307278271, Mass Market Paperback)

It All Seemed So Simple...

Two brothers and their friend stumble upon the wreckage of a plane—the pilot is dead and his duffle bag contains four million dollars in cash. The men agree to hide, keep and share the fortune. But what started off as a simple plan slowly devolves into a gruesome nightmare none of them can control.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:47 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Two brothers and their friend stumble upon the wreakage of a plane--the pilot is dead and his duffle bag contains four million dollars in cash.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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