I read this book before seeing the movie, and I am so glad that I did because the two are really nothing like each other. The book delves deeper into the clinical relationship between Patrick and his psychiatrist, as well as his relationships with his family and friends. Really, all relationships in the book had more layers, which became a more two dimensional in the movie. If you already saw the movie, you won't be bored by the book, which even has a different ending.
I have to admit I saw the movie before listening to the audio book and even though I expected differences I was a bit taken aback. I was a bit annoyed with Pat seeming child like with his thinking, I don't know if that had to do with his mental illness or what but there was a great deal of effort into writing about his thought process, perhaps I missed the point of the story. Overall the story was fine, I didn't like the narrator too much though. He seemed very monotone no emotion. Again, perhaps that was the books tone.
Warning: this book swears A LOT. It's a fascinating story because it is all about mental illness. The characters are quirky but that makes it easier to sympathize with them. I think people who know and love people with mental illness will connect with this book. Did I mention it swears a lot? Well, it does.
I loved the movie and decided to read the book, thinking that someone obviously knew a lot about these mental disorders so I was curious about what else the book would reveal. The movie followed most of the book very closely, but the unbelievable Hollywood ending was concocted for the movie. Therefore I found the book much more believable and satisfying. They didn't need the unreal ending - the book had a fine one. I loved 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.
I love to read!
I agree with all the other reviewers who said they understood the movie much better after reading the book--they were right! The author allows his readers to understand how much time, patience, and support is needed for patients recovering from mental illness. At the same time, he has written a fast-paced and enjoyable story. Warning to those who like to listen with their children/families: watch out for the language in many places!
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
It sometimes got jarring to me when the character repeated things over and over. Sometimes I was afraid the audible version was stuck. I imagine reading the book would not have had this problem.
To know what mental illness feels like from the insider view. It also was the most frustrating because you realized his assumptions were false and you just wanted to squeeze him and tell him to forget Nikki!
I also enjoyed his take on all the classic books he read and how for the most part they were pretty depressing.
I thought the book good, but their were so many things going on that the story didn't handle well. His father was such a big fat jerk that I wanted some closure on him that never came.
It was adequate, not outstanding. I didn't like the narrators women's voices very much.
It could have another book, but I don't think I would read it. The first one wasn't that good. I haven't seen the movie, but normally a book is better than the movie.
Among the best. It combines a good story with a good narrator.
I liked how he made it clear that the "sane" people were all crazy in their own ways.
There were a few laugh out loud moments, but the whole book was strong.
Yes. I listened to it over two days on a road trip.
I will never think of Kenny G in the same way after listening to this book. I was sad when it ended because now Pat, his mom, Cliff & the Asian Invasion won't be riding with me to and from work any longer. What a great story & characters. The narrator did a great job with Pat and the other characters, especially Cliff. I will watch the movie now and probably listen to this book again in the future. One time will not be enough for me which is my measure of a great book.