A Simple Plan: The Deluxe Special Edition
- Author: Scott Smith
- Artist: Glen Orbik
- Page Count: 360
- Pub. Date: August 14, 2014
- ISBN: 978-1-58767-305-4
- Status: Out of Print
"Simply the best suspense novel of the year... Read this book."
— Stephen King
A Simple Plan
by Scott Smith
About the Book:
A Simple Plan marked the astonishing debut of a natural born storyteller and is one of the most talked about thrillers of the last two decades.
It's a novel about a young man, unaware of his own moral fragility, who finds an immense cache of money — and makes a seemingly plausible decision that sets his hitherto "ordinary and ordered" life on the road to chaos and horror. He is Hank Mitchell — steady, solid, devoted husband, proud new father. He tells the story.
It begins on a snowy winter afternoon. Hank is driving on a lonely country road with his brother, Jacob, and his brother's pal, when suddenly Jacob's dog leaps into the woods. Following him, the three men come upon the wreckage of a single-engine plane and the body of the pilot. Under the seat they find a duffel bag containing four million dollars in packets of hundred-dollar bills. Shocked, barely able to make sense of what they see, they try to puzzle out the right thing to do.
They arrive at a seemingly simple plan, a plan that will enable them to hide, keep, and eventually share the fortune. They believe it will harm no one, put no one at risk. From the moment the plan is set in motion, Hank's orderly universe begins to crumble. He is constantly on the watch, trying to prevent his partners — his brother, his brother's pal, and, ultimately, his wife — from making impulsive or careless moves, triggered by panic or even impatience, that could endanger them all. But soon, panicked by his brother's stupidity and confusion, Hank commits a murder. And his nightmare begins.
Riveting, highly charged at its core, told with extraordinary clarity, coolness, and restraint, Scott Smith's story of a man driven to acts previously unthinkable seizes the reader and never lets go.
Special Features Exclusive to this Special Collector's Edition:
• deluxe oversized design (7 inches X 10 inches)
• full color cover artwork by Glen Orbik
• high-quality endpapers and fine bindings for both editions
• full-color signature sheets with exclusive color artwork
• extremely collectible print run that is a tiny fraction of the MILLIONS of copies of this novel you've seen in bookstores — and you will NOT find our edition in chain bookstores!
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.
— Publishers Weekly
In the opening pages of this riveting first novel, Hank Mitchell is heading down a snowy road with his brother Jacob and a friend, intent on visiting his parents' grave. After chasing Jacob's huge dog through the woods, the three men stumble upon a tiny plane whose pilot is dead. The plane holds another surprise—a bag containing $4 million. Upright Hank resists taking the money but finally thinks up a "simple plan" that will protect them if anyone suspects them of stealing. Once Hank veers from the straight and narrow, however, nothing is simple. Unnerved by his somewhat slow-witted brother's panic, distrustful of thief-in-arms Lou, Hank commits a murder—and is launched upon a bloody downward spiral that carries the reader quickly to the end of the book. Buttoned-downed Hank ultimately proves to be made of poorer stuff than his scruffier compatriots, and his carefully reasoned descent into crime is shocking. Occasionally, it seems a bit too pat—the reader is left wondering whether anyone could commit so many crimes without moral upset—but ultimately this should prove popular reading.
— Lilbrary Journal
A fairy-tale windfall blasts the lives of two brothers, determined to do whatever it takes to hold onto the money, in Scott's electrifying first novel. On their way to visit their parents' graves in rural Ohio, Hank Mitchell and his brother Jacob, together with Jacob's no-account pal Lou, find a downed plane, a dead pilot, and four million dollars. After briefly considering turning the money over to the authorities, they decide to let Hank keep it for six months to see whether anybody comes looking for it—believing in their innocence that if nobody does, they'll be safe in spending it. But the very next day, when Hank and Jacob are back at the plane to make sure they haven't left any traces of their presence, they're forced to kill a witness to their discovery. When Lou finds out and begins to blackmail Hank for advances on his share of the loot, Hank's surprisingly resourceful wife Sarah comes up with a scheme to shut his mouth—a scheme that ends, inevitably, in more violence, as Hank keeps killing to protect his family's stake in the American dream, the secrets of his earlier murders, and his sense of himself as normal "despite everything I've done that might make it seem otherwise." By the time the horrific plot has wound down, nine people have died, with more deaths (the Mitchell parents, seven victims in a Detroit kidnapping) hanging heavily over the story. Yet Smith infuses each new twist of violence with shocks of unexpected pity, as Hank, devastated by the killing, keeps drifting back to the rationale he and Sarah share: He had to do it, it wasn't his fault. An eerily flat confessional whose horror is only deepened by its flashes of tenderness. Think of a backwater James M. Cain, or a contemporary midwestern Unforgiven—and don't think about getting any sleep tonight.
Published in two states:
• Hardcover Limited Edition of 748 signed and hand-numbered copies bound in full-cloth and Smyth sewn with a full-color dust jacket ($60)
• Deluxe Hardcover Lettered Edition of 52 signed and hand-lettered copies bound in leather, Smyth sewn with a satin ribbon page marker, raised hubs on the spine, custom gilded page edges dipped by hand, a full-color signature sheet, and featuring unique full color illustrated endpapers not appearing in any other edition ($300)
Visit our official production update page for the latest news and updates about this project.