Tag Archives: plot synopsis

Book Synopsis: “Holes”

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013

Roll: 5,1. Result: Synopsis, Book.

Oh shucks. Shux?

HOLES by Louis Sachar

a shoddy-memory synopsis


“Holes” is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats, only no, that might be his grandfather’s name. We’ll pretend it’s his. Stanley is accidentally framed for stealing a pair of sneakers when they fell out of the sky and into his hands one day. He is caught, and brought before the judge, who declares that he can either go to Juvenile Prison, or spend the summer at a youth behavioral correction camp, right next to a lake! Stan picks the lake. Okay, I have to look this up I don’t feel comfortable calling him Stan.

Okay, his name is Stanley. And the camp is Camp Green Lake. It sounds nice.

Anyway, Stanley finds himself on a bus out to the camp. When he gets there, he finds that the lake dried up long ago, and the kids there spend their days digging 5 ft x 5 ft x 5 ft holes in the dried up lake bed, to teach them… to be better people. A wicked woman runs the camp, and she wears snake venom nail polish, I think.

So they’re digging a lot, and Stanley makes some new friends. It is awful, and probably some kids nearly pass out, but the camp director is so mean and nasty that she just punishes them more for passing out. Stanley overhears the director speaking with her coworkers about the real reason she is having them dig up the lake bed, which is to find some sort of buried treasure. Possibly, she finds out that he knows and threatens him, so he flees into the desert.

Now, it is possible that, before this, a kid named “Zero” ran into the desert. One of them ran away first, but at any rate I think they meet up at this old, overturned wooden rowboat half-buried in the sand. It is filled with jarred peaches, so they live on that for a while, but they take it with them. They venture on, up into the hills.

I think, at some point, Zero starts singing this lullaby about a wolf, and Stanley recognizes it, because it is one his grandmother used to sing. There is a story about Stanley’s grandfather, who was also named Stanley (pretty sure about this one), and he wanted to be strong, so a woman, who may or may not end up being Stanley’s grandmother, gave him a piglet to carry up the mountain every day to give him a drink of water from the spring. Every day the pig grew, and when he was fully grown Stanley the First was wicked jacked. Anyway, now Stan and Zero think they might have the same grandmother, and as far as my version of the story goes, they are correct.

The two boys start starving to death, but somehow they think to dig up a bunch of onions during a thunderstorm. They eat only onions for a while, and maybe discover something that will help them get the camp director fired, since she is evil. They struggle back to the camp.

When they arrive, the director is furious, and thinks she has the upper hand, but the boys bring in some other authority and using whatever they have discovered, they expose her true nature to the world. She tries to hurt them, and the cops are like “Okay she’s crazy” and take her away. The camp is dissolved, and everyone is happy.

It turns out Zero stole the shoes that day, and threw them over the railing in a panic, getting Stan incarcerated. But the Yelnatses adopt Zero, because he was an orphan (even though he’s Stan’s cousin maybe), and Stan and Zero invent something called Sploosh which is really just the same as the jarred peaches they found in the desert.



Movie Synopsis: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Monday, Dec. 16, 2013

Roll: 5,2. Result: Synopsis, Movie.


a shoddy-memory plot synopsis


Bilbo Baggins, a short, furry-footed halfling, is contacted by Gandalf the Grey, one of five wizards in Middle Earth. He refuses the wizard’s invitation to go on an adventure, because hobbits don’t like to leave their homes (or at least Bagginses don’t). That night, 13 dwarves intrude on his dinner, followed by Gandalf himself. Gandalf has chosen Bilbo to be the group’s burglar, despite his lack of skills, and Bilbo refuses to help the group return to their home at Eregor, aka The Lonely Mountain, which was taken from them by Smaug, the fire-breathing dragon.

When he wakes the next morning, they’ve gone. Suddenly, he decides to help them and rushes out to catch up. They travel, eventually coming upon a camp of three trolls in the night, who are stealing the groups’ ponies. Bilbo gets caught attempting to release them, then the dwarves rush in and attack. The trolls threaten to pull Bilbo’s limbs off, so the dwarves surrender, and all are tied up. Bilbo hears them talking about trying to avoid daybreak, so he tells the trolls that every dwarf is filled with parasites, so they should not eat them, and otherwise tries to stall for time. The dumb trolls bicker and argue for so long that the sun has almost risen. Gandalf appears (apparently he had left) and shatters a cliff which was blocking the sun, catching them in the light and turning them to stone. They stay in the trolls’ cave that night, where they find some old Elven weapons; from these Bilbo is awarded a dagger, which glows blue when orcs or goblins are near.

Leaving the cave, they run into Radagast the Brown, another wizard who watches over the forest, which he says is being infected by dark powers. Orcs are heard outside the woods, so Radagast serves as a diversion while Gandalf leads the company across the tundra. When they are discovered, with Gandalf’s guidance they retreat into a hidden passage; some elves show up outside and kill the remaining orcs. They follow the passage, coming out in the Elven outpost of Rivendell.

The dwarves grew to distrust elves, ever since they refused to help back when Smaug was taking their home, so their stay at Rivendell is a reluctant one. They are fed. Gandalf shows Galadriel, Sarumon the White, and Elrond, the leader at Rivendell, a dark artifact, a sword which could only have been released by the powers of a necromancer. Sarumon denies that Sauron, the greatest dark sorcerer of their time, could have returned, but Gandalf believes it is so. As they are talking, the dwarves flee in secret. Also, the night before, they had shown their map to Elrond, who translated some Ancient Dwarvish moon runes which would help them regain access to their locked down mountain. Anyway, continuing…

The company is crossing some cliff faces in the middle of a thunderstorm; the mountain behind them comes to life, and they find that they are in the middle of a battle between three stone giants. There are a lot of close calls as they jump between moving and unmoving cliffs, but the battle ends and they seek shelter in a nearby cave. Thorin, the leader of the dwarves, says some disparaging remarks about Bilbo’s lacking competence in their adventure. That night, while they sleep, Bilbo starts to sneak out, but he has a chat with Bofur, and they notice that his sword glows blue. It is too late to do anything, however, for the floor opens and the entire group is thrown into a trap below.

Some goblins arrive to shuttle their captives to the king, and as they are doing so, Bilbo merely crouches down so that the rest move on without noticing he has been left behind. He gets into a scuffle with a stray sentry and falls deeper into the vast cave. When he comes to, he spies Smeagol/Gollum, who unknowingly drops a ring while dragging the goblin back to his lair. Bilbo takes the ring, and follows Gollum. Gollum finds him, and after some struggle they agree to have a game of riddles. If Bilbo wins, Gollum will show the way out, and if he loses Gollum gets to eat him.

Bilbo wins by basically cheating, so Gollum prepares to take out his ring and ostensibly renege on his promise, but he realizes it’s gone, freaks out, and then realizes Bilbo probably has it. While fleeing, Bilbo accidentally wears the ring and discovers that he has become invisible. He contemplates putting the miserable Gollum out of his misery while he is at Bilbo’s mercy, but then …

Up above, the dwarves are brought before the king. When the king sees the Elven weapons, he freaks and tries to have his people kill them all. Gandalf appears in a flash of light (he went somewhere else before, I guess), and a massive battle ensues. They fight and race to escape the cave. They kill the king and fall to the bottom of the cave, where they run out, right past Bilbo, who follows after them, still invisible.

Outside, the gang recuperates and realizes Bilbo is gone. Thorin says he obviously ran home, but then Bilbo appears and explains that he decided to stay because he misses his own home so much and the dwarves don’t have a home, so he will do whatever he can to help them get a home to miss. Then, orcs are upon them again.

Azog, the leader of the group chasing after Thorin (who chopped Azog’s arm off in the battle outside the mines of Moria, which the dwarves failed to take as a new home), sends his wargs to corner the dwarves by the cliff face, where the dwarves climb up some tall trees to stay out of reach. Gandalf whispers to a moth, and the wargs begin knocking trees over until the whole company is in one tree on the cliff. Gandalf gives the group some pinecone firebombs to scare off the wargs, but eventually their tree begins to fall.

Thorin charges off the tree towards Azog, who knocks him out and has his warg pick him up in his mouth. Thorin knocks himself free, and Azog tells a lieutenant to bring Thorin’s head. Suddenly Bilbo tackles the lieutenant, and the rest of the group is rallied to battle. They’re doing okay; meanwhile, Gandalf is still trying to support a couple of dwarves who fell and are hanging by his staff. The battle outcome begins to look real grim, and the moth Gandalf whispered to returns just as the two dwarves lose their grip. They fall onto a giant eagle, and suddenly a bunch of giant eagles are throwing the wargs and orcs off the cliff while also picking up members of the company.

They fly to safety on a tall rock far away, where Thorin regains consciousness and apologizes to Bilbo. They smile, and Bilbo spots something in the distance. On the horizon they see the Lonely Mountain, the goal of their travels, and then the movie ends.