Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Simple Plan

A Simple Plan by Scott Smith
Knopf Doubleday Publishing, 1993
Hardcover, 335 pages
ISBN: 0679419853
very highly recommended

From the Publisher

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.
My Thoughts:

Have you ever dreamed of winning the lottery and planned what you would do with the money. What would you do if you were faced with a real temptation? Let's say you found a bag full of millions of dollars in a wrecked plane in a remote area. Would you report the accident? Turn in the money? Would you be tempted to keep the money, if there was little chance your crime would be discovered? That's the tantalizing premise of A Simple Plan... and the plan does seem simple, at first, but as with many seemingly simple plans, things can run amok quickly and any semblance of control can spiral out of control as one mishap leads to another.

I thought Smith did a good job creating tension in this novel of suspense. The plot, although seemingly simple, was full of unexpected twists and even those that were predictable were handled well. Smith delves into the ethics and morals of how an ordinary man might react when faced with an unbelievable temptation. And how this temptation might change him. Even when the actions of the characters were gruesome, they were still believable as the characters lose control. (I did have to suspend disbelief that crimes weren't discovered, when, in reality, they very likely would be.) This novel literally kept me reading all night.
very highly recommended


My parents died in an automobile accident the year after I was married. They tried to enter I-75 through an exit ramp one Saturday night and crashed head-on into a semi hauling cattle. opening

My brother and I had never been close, not even as children, and the gap between us only grew wider as we got older. By the time of the accident, we had very little except our parents left in common, and their sudden deaths eased whatever weight this might've normally held. pg. 4

"It's money," Lou said, smiling up at Jacob. "Look." He leaned the bag forward.
Jacob bent over and squinted at it, his mouth dropping open. I looked, too. It was full of money, packets held together with thin paper bands.
"Hundred-dollar bills," Lou said. pg. 19

And it was like magic, too, like a gift from the gods, the ease with which a solution came to me, a simple plan, a way to keep the money without fear of getting caught. I could just sit on it, hiding it away until the plane was discovered. If someone found the wreck and there was no mention of a missing three million dollars, I'd split it up with Lou and Jacob and we could go our separate ways. But if, on the other hand, it seemed like someone knew the money was missing, I'd burn it..... Up until the very instant I gave Lou and Jacob their shares, I'd be in complete control. I could erase my crime at a moment's notice. pg. 23

Looking back on it now, after all that's happened, it seems insane with what little fear I picked this path. pg. 23

We were trapped, I realized; we'd crossed a boundary, and we couldn't go back. The money, by giving us the chance to dream, had also allowed us to begin despising our present lives. pg. 105

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