Thursday, 2 December 2010

a reductive plot meme

hat-tip Jonny for the notion.

What books have these plots?  (Not difficult)

1.  Teenage boy has dead brother.  Takes dim view of just about everyone he knows except his ten-year-old sister.

2.  Bloke escapes a disaster on a raft, accompanied by a Bengal tiger.  Adventures ensue.

3.  In totalitarian mock-future, bloke takes dim view of regime, gets brain trashed by torture and brainwashing, learns to love the leader and becomes a piss-head.

4.  Swedish hacker girl - no, that one's too easy.

5.  Rich dysfunctional couple swan around the Riviera drinking too much and going bonkers.  She recovers from bonkersness, sort of.  He falls apart and buggers off.  Everyone is beautiful.

6. Two blokes take part in ballooning accident rescue.  One bloke becomes obsessive stalker of other bloke.  That's it.

7.  Boy wizard - no, that one's too easy too.

Go on, answer these and post your own, in the comments or link to me on your own site.


Anonymous said...

Taking my cue from you and refusing to answer the easy ones - as follows:
Catcher in the Rye
Life of Pi
Tender is the Night
Enduring Love

Augustus Carp said...

This is going to be a great party game this Christmas! Maybe there should be a word limit - or a letter limit like on Twitter. Obviously, extra points are awarded if the reductive plot is made to sound as boring as possible.

"Boy plays with girl, and thinks her Gran will leave him lots of dosh. He goes to London and becomes a prig."

Jane Griffiths said...

Yes, I think three sentences should be the limit, like this:

Feral boy is adopted into Yorkshire family. Boy has doomed affair with daughter of family, who dies; he digs her up twice. Most of the characters have tuberculosis.

Anonymous said...

Two blokes and a woman in the dessert. Fly away husband, other bloke leaves woman to die in painted cave.

Anonymous said...

Dunno about desert saga. Jane is talking about Wuthering Heights.

Anonymous said...


Jane Griffiths said...

The English Patient. I thought the book was arse. Have not seen the film.

Jane Griffiths said...

But yes it was Wuthering Heights.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Jane about vile English Patient.
Film even worse.

Ex husband took tart to watch this schmaltz while self was working hard for Election.

She was and remains - a cheap date. A good job because he was and remains, an Olymic contender in the tight wad stakes.

St Martin S, Reading said...

Anonymous 11:24 couldn't possibly be my old friend Helen C, Peterborough.

Can anyone guess this one? Working Class hero becomes MP for Reading and gets propositioned numerous times along the way.

Anonymous said...

Last book I enjoyed

Man meets girl. She has already known him for years he's never met her.

Anonymous said...

American college students kill their friend to cover up accidental murder. All ends badly.

Anonymous said...

Two drifters roll into town and slaughter family of four. They are caught and hung.

Jane Griffiths said...

1956 The Time Traveller's Wife
2001 The Secret History
1156 In Cold Blood

Anonymous said...

Music obsessive seeks out old girl friends.

Anonymous said...

Kids grow up in idyllic boarding school apparently in Contemporary Britain. However, something is not quite right.

Eventually revealed that setting is in fact a parallel dystopia. The kids are clones of human beings created for the purpose of donating their vital organs.

Anonymous said...

Last one in Never Let me Go. Oh - by the way - the film with the pernicious Knightley is CRAP. Brilliant book and film is an embarassing travesty.