Pat has been living in a mental health institute for a long time. His mother decides that he has been there long enough and gets him released into her custody. Pat is very excited about this, because he feels that with some hard work, he can end "apart time" with his wife Nikki. Before Pat entered the mental health institute, he and Nikki agreed to separate for a little bit of time. With the help of his therapist Cliff, the Philadelphia Eagles, and his new friend Tiffany, Pat might be able to regain the life he desperately wants.
A few months ago, I watched The Silver Linings Playbook. I thought it was a charming and quiet movie. I found a few rough edges in the movie, but all of my minor annoyances with the movie generally got swept away by the time the credits rolled. When I saw the audio book waw on sale, I decided to pick it up. I promptly forgot about the book until I had to drive to Pittsburgh and saw that it was the perfect length for driving there and back (~6 hours round trip).
The Silver Linings Playbook is so lovely. Like the movie, this is a quiet character transformation piece. There is excitement and surprises throughout the book, but it is a character piece about someone struggling with mental illness. Speaking of that, I found that this book did an excellent job of portraying mental illness. In the movie, Pat is labeled with a particular mental illness. I did not completely agree with this diagnosis. In the book, Pat is not given a diagnosis (at least I didn't notice one), and I thought this was a better choice. What Pat is experiencing in this book and his journey to recovery felt quite genuine. I didn't feel like I was rubbernecking someone else's problems, which I typically feel when I am reading fictional accounts of mental illness. Generally speaking, I like people's memoirs of their struggles with mental illness, but this book is makes me want to take a second look at fictional accounts. I also want to note that I really liked Cliff, Pat's therapist. Cliff did some things that are not traditionally appropriate for a therapist to do; however, Quick's portrayal of Cliff was much better than most therapists that I see on television or in books. In my real life, I study psychology, so poorly written accounts of mental illness and/or therapists is a pet peeve of mine (you should watch me watch Grey's Anatomy).
I thought that Quick did a great job of showing one man struggle with his mental illness within a family that is going through their own problems. Usually books like this only showcase the person with the mental illness or showcase that person within a totally crazy family (e.g., drug abuse, sexual abuse, or physical abuse). This book did a fantastic job of showing an everyday family deal with a difficult situation.
A big part of this book is Pat and his family's love of football and the Philadelphia Eagles. I thought the Eagles talk worked really well within the story; however, I can understand if this could be a turn off for someone else. All you need to know about football to appreciate what is happening in this book is that the Philadelphia Eagles play football.
If you are considering reading the book and seeing the movie, I would recommend seeing the movie first. You will be spoiled for a few things, but I think you will be able to enjoy both better this way. The movie makes some drastic changes from the book that work well for the movie, but I think I would personally be angry with these changes, if I had read the book first. I should note that the rough edges that I noticed in the movie were all smoothed over when I read the book. The rough edges in the movies appeared, because the movie people had to make changes to condense the book. The book is much smoother.
Audio: I thought that the reader was really greater. Tone, pacing, and inflection were fantastic. Porter also did a nice job with changing his voice for the different characters. I was really happy with his reading, and I will seek out other books read by him.
My mother raved about the movie, and I thought...this is going to be weepy and lame, BUT I could not have been MORE wrong. This was a fascinating book with great characters. Everyone is broken, but in VERY different ways. It went by SOO quick, and was definitely a page turner. If you are looking for something off your regular reading book list, I would highly recommend this one.
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.
Working mom (HRMgr/healthcare) in western Michigan. INTJ. Red Vines. Disneyfreak.
I ordered this without reading other reviews - a first for me. Loved the author's style, structure, character development, and story. I can't wait to see the movie now, but I have a feeling this will be one where I love the book better. I fell in love with the characters and the pacing was just perfect. Could not 'put it down'. Wonderful.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
I bought this book when the movie first came out, but didn't get around to seeing the movie at all. Frankly, I wasn't expecting much. But I got a tremendous listen!
The narration by Ray Porter is just perfection. As "Pat," Porter accurately reads Quick's prose as if it was his own words and thoughts. Magnificent! More importantly, this book offers a portrait of mental illness; a warm love story between two fragile people; an accurate depiction of a classic dysfunctional family; takes you on a wonderful ride with passionate fans of a pro football team; and in addition, provides an insider's view of a relationship between a therapist and patient.
It is a great story . . . not one that is overtly sappy or sexual. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and really, don't think I'll ever need to see the movie.
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.
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.
Its a fascinating tale that would begin on may 5th, 1989 in Mease Dunedin hospital and from there the legacy grew. I am adult now.
Positive beats Negative
I love the story because I have a mental illness and I loved the concept of Pat and Tiffany being able to balance each other out.
The part where pat lays next to Tiffany and says to her: i sort of need you too.
How to eliminate a negative and destructive bomb.
What a refreshing and wonderful take on "love" in our time. Two broken souls find love in all the strange ways. I really enjoyed the narrator's interpretation on the character, esp. Pat. Definitely will listen to it again.
I have not seen the movie and I bought this book on impulse. I really had no expectations for what I was about to listen to, but from the opening paragraphs I was hooked. I believe it is the way the story is crafted more than the story line itself that is so remarkable. Quick uses a 1st person voice and writes in simple sentences. However, simple certainly doesn't mean unsophisticated or childish. Indeed it was subtle and elegant. He paces the story and reveals the details Pat's history perfectly. Much of the book I felt as if I were on beam and the story could tumble out of control either into darkness or the other way, into the some kind of sappy feel-good non-sense. But Quick maintains that tension beautifully through out.
I will say that I was surprised by this book and found it to be the most compelling book I've read or listened to this year. Well done Matthew Quick!