There is nothing better than a good book!
This was such a fun, witty, and touching story. Ray Porter really brought the characters to life- I will defiantly be listening to this one again! You won't be disappointed!
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This is a basic love story hampered by a few reoccurring problems. It's Nicholas Sparks with some sports references and a mental illness arc. My biggest issue was that the main character's mental illness is not so much a characteristic as a plot device. Does he need to have slight amnesia so that the books big reveal remains hidden? Done. Does he need to have a child-like thought process to make him endearing and/or propel the story forward? Done. But his illness is at odds with the other aspects of his character. It seemed a lot less like mental illness and more like stupidity that the author employed as a convenient plot device. The other issue was the prevalent sports theme. While I am not a sports fan and feel that this may have to do with why it irked me, I genuinely disapproved of the manic, frenzied sports mentality that consumed most of the characters. I was fine until it seemed again to be less of a contributing factor to the actual story and more anecdotal filler used at random by the author. And finally, on more than one occasion I felt that I was suspending my disbelief to the point of exhaustion. Another coincidence, another glaring pothole that the reader saw coming from a mile away but none of the characters did, another "but wait how did she know..." or "how in the world did he not know??" because a large portion of the unknown is so obvious that its cliche. I thought I'd put this down once I had reached the middle, because to be honest I just didn't care about the characters or the story and I could see what every character couldn't from an hour in. But a lapse in downloading another book led me to finish it, and it ended as lackluster as I suspected. I would recommend this only if you're a sucker for any sort of love story, and possibly if you're an Eagles fan. Other than that don't bother. Of course I am one negative review amongst a ton of positive, so I could just have awful taste....
Making the world better one review at a time.
I listened to The Silver Linings Playbook twice - once on my own and a second time with my husband. Our lives have both been touched by mental illness, and we like to read books that address this strange and complicated subject. Normally we listen to non-fiction, but we made an exception for The Silver Linings Playbook. Written in funny first-person perspective, this book takes you into the mind of Pat, who is trying to rebuild his life after a stay in a mental institution. Pat will make you laugh out loud.
Ray Porter brings the character of Pat to life. If I had just read the book, I probably would have imagined Pat to be sullen and morose. Porter's version of Pat is delightfully optimistic, honest and funny.
I highly recommend this book. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is because the plot is a bit over-simplified. Don't get me wrong - the plot is great - but it isn't going to win any prestigious literary awards. It reads like a book that was written to be made into a movie. And what a wonderful coincidence! It HAS been made into a movie starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. So buy this book today, enjoy the listen, and plan to see the movie in November.
12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!
When Tiffany begins to act as the intermediary and reads Nickie's letters to Pat. This was an important turning point in the story - I started to sympathize with his obsession of Nickie. Why? Well, there was finally a dialogue - Nickie was responding to his letters and his sadness over the loss of their marriage. This point in the story justified Pat's longing and belief that he and Nickie had a chance. It was only momentarily but there was this moment of suspended belief. When the letters began, there was a glimpse and reason to believe that their love was reciprocal. It was again a fleeting moment in the story. The dynamic between Tiffany, Pat and Nickie is explored at this point in the story.
Pat - he was dynamic and depressed. Ray Porter was able to convey both desperation and elation.
no one- all too crazy for me. His mom would cry when anything heartwarming happening; his dad is just an on'ry asshole and his brothers are nice but still...brothers. Personally, I have my own and if i want a brother over for dinner, I'll just invite him. He's enough of a brother! I don't need more characters to add to the table.
so good. the movie, as far as i am concerned sucks. I haven't been able to finish it. I say, read /listen to this and skip the movie. The audio is pretty awesome and i really enjoyed listening to it.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY - This book is told from the viewpoint of Pat Peeples, and it begins with his release from a mental institution. His plight in the real world is unusual and very touching but, due to the simplicity of his thinking, the story quickly becomes repetitive and somewhat dull. It is a short, sweet, easy listen. It is never heavy or particularly sad, and there is occasional humor. Nonetheless, I found my mind wandering and my eyes glancing at the timer, wishing it would move more quickly.
Some reviewers have commented on the important themes explored in the story and how it illustrates the treatment of mentally ill persons, the importance of therapy, etc. I'm sure those themes and messages are all there, but I'm not one to dissect story lines and find hidden meanings. I just want to be entertained and, from that viewpoint, I think some of the repetition could have been toned down a bit. (For instance, "We chanted E-A-G-L-E-S and spelled the letters with our arms and legs" -- you will hear that probably 15 times.)
I don't want to give too much away, but there is a silver lining in the story. The last few hours were really good and the ending is great.
NARRATION - I don't think the performance was a challenging one, but the narrator did a good job.
OVERALL - I would actually rate this book more like a 3.5. It is entertaining, touching and a story that needs to be heard, but bogs down too much in the middle.
Constantly in search of the perfect listen.
The mental health of the city of Philadelphia, along with most of South Jersey, is inextricably tied to the Eagle's wins and losses. Having lived in Philadelphia for a number of years, I know what the fans are like and Matthew Quick has captured that unique fanaticism perfectly. However, this is not a book about football. Football serves as the back-drop for a story that explores mental illness from the inside. Pat Peoples may be the one who spent time in a neural-health facility and who copes with his demons in peculiar ways but is he so different from everyone else? As far as coping mechanisms go: Weight lifting, running and avoiding Kenny G. are all quite reasonable things to do in my opinion. Without making light of the pain and suffering involved, Silver Linings Playbook, succeeds in giving the listener a lighter and perhaps a more realistic view of what it is like to live with mental illness.
I really liked this book. I have had it for awhile now, and for some reason, never got to it. When I realized it was my oldest audible book, I decided to delve into it and I am so glad that I did. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. I thought it was well written and the story was told well from the point of someone who was experiencing mental issues. I laughed at parts and felt horribly sorry for Pat at others; but you can't help rooting for Pat and his silver lining. The part where he talks about T.O's alleged suicide attempt and how he felt about T.O. as a person who may be going through difficult times made me rethink some of my perceptions about how I view those with a mental issue as well.
I have to say, that I even got past the issue of Pat being an Eagles fan. I absolutely cannot root for a team that hired Michael Vick after his animal abuse conviction. I rationalized this part away by telling myself that at least this occurred during the Donovan McNabb years.
I had listened to one other book narrated by Ray Porter and really liked it. I probably would have moved this up in my "to read" list if I had realized he narrated it. Again, I enjoyed the narration as much as the story.
This story of a mentally ill man doesn't play true to the reality of mental illness, but it comes close. The distortions present can be so disturbing (an understatement). The ripple effect through a family can be so destructive. The difficulty to maintain relationships. All these and more make life with a mental illness, or a loved one with it, a challenge.
Although this story simplified all of that and more, it does present the points. The father-son, brother-brother, marital relationships are all present with struggles. The ending was a little bit too much like "they all lived happily ever after" for me but it was a good ending for a novel.
The narration was excellent.
** spoiler alert ** In my opinion, this was one of the rare instances where the movie is better than the book. (Tacked-on subplot with Robert Deniro notwithstanding.) I read this book because I had heard it was a 'very accurate portrayal of bipolar disorder.' I don't agree with that at all. I'm not personally bipolar, but I know a lot of people who are. I thought this book was offensive to people with mental illnesses- for every thing that it gets right, there are ten things that are both wrong and insulting. Pat is portrayed as being so simple in his thinking in this book that he comes across as either childlike (not in a good way) or mentally challenged rather than mentally ill. Whenever anything happens that upsets him, he often bursts into tears and then runs away. Tiffany is slightly more realistic as a character because the mood swings are somewhat believable, but the author fails to give her realistic motivations or to give her a personality outside of them. Because her personality is so flat, it's hard to cut her much slack for the harmful things she does at the end of the book.
Most unforgivable, in my opinion, is the suggestion by the story that Pat's mental illness suddenly materialized because of his traumatic discovery of his wife's infidelity (and possibly brain damage from that incident) and that Tiffany's mental illness was caused by grief and guilt over her husband's death. Trauma may cause a person to experience anxiety or depression or PTSD, but it doesn't 'cause' bipolar disorder and it doesn't cause... whatever was going on with Tiffany... to suddenly occur. I don't expect fiction to dwell on accurate symptom-reporting, but it still has to stand up to even pop-psychology standards. I find it ridiculous that the Pat we are introduced to could have held a job as a teacher and coach, and led a normal life up until the traumatic incident, with the disordered thinking he displays, so are we supposed to believe that he never had real problems with a severe mental illness until his marriage went south?
And while memory loss (or actually failure to form memories) in people who are really manic is common, it's completely unrealistic that Pat would have no concept that he had been in the hospital for several years rather than several months, or that he would have no memory of what happened to send him to the hospital until it is conveniently 'triggered' by watching his wedding video.
I am as good at suspending disbelief for fiction as anyone, but those are lazy writing tropes. I found the story sufficiently compelling to hang in there to find out what happened, but it was hard to get past the issues I just described. I watched the movie AFTER I read the book, and found that the screenwriters had corrected some of the things that I had problems with- they inserted a history of problems and difficulty coping before her husband's death for Tiffany, and they didn't portray Pat as being the eternally confused man-child that he is in the book. That made it possible to enjoy the movie much more than the book.
I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
I didn't want to stop listening, so I guess it wasn't that bad but I get the impression other people liked it. I found the protagonist annoying and I didn't really care what he did, which meant I didn't really care what happened in the book. If I were reading this as a physical book and I lost it, I wouldn't try to find it.
As an audio file, however, I finished it. The writing is decent, no problems, so if you like sappy stories and immature slightly annoying by basically harmless characters, go for it.