When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki, and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy. Then, Pat meets clinically depressed widow Tiffany, who offers to act as a liaison between him and his wife - provided he agrees to a secret contract that includes giving up football and performing in the next Dance Away Depression competition.
©2008 Matthew Quick; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio
"This offbeat story has all the markings of a crowd-pleaser." (Publishers Weekly)
I have never listened to an audiobook in such a short time--I found every possible opportunity to listen. I have not yet seen the movie -- and now I am glad I experienced the book first, as I am not able to imagine how this story could be fully captured on screen. The narration was excellent, and the story interesting and engaging at every step. I did not want it to end.
I am an avid reader, mother of two, fangirl, nerdfighter, Chicago Cubs enthusiast and NASA supporter.
Pat Peoples is not mentally stable and that is something that becomes clear almost immediately as you hear his inner dialogue. Pat's world is repetitive and highly structured which works for him since his entire focus is on getting his ex-wife back. Since we only know what Pat knows, it takes a while for the layers if his instability to become clear, but while that happens, you will most definitely start liking Pat. Pat's child-like understanding of the world around him and his frank observations brings his flawed and sometimes messed-up family into sharp focus. Before Pat went into the Bad Place it is easy to imagine him behaving much like his stoic and unpleasant father, but his post-Bad Place understanding lets you into a world where he starts to recognize that practicing kindness is more than just a means to an end. Much like the Nick Hornby books I love, this story revolves around a sports team (The Philadelphia Eagles) and its place as a conduit for communication in the Peeples family. The team was almost a character itself, and I loved the way their wins an losses were woven throughout the story and permeated every aspect of Pat's life. In truth, I was surprised by how poignant and funny this book was. It is not only a very frank look at how people view mental illness and how we treat the mentally ill people we interact with every day, it is also a sort of delayed coming of age story. It was as if, at 34, Pat wakes up and is forced to start over with only a limited understand of why. I did not love every character in the book, but I loved the way they were written because it made me feel like I made that judgement after really getting to know them, and you will certainly feel as if you know all of the characters in this story through Pat's eyes.
The narrator was a big reason I loved this book. His voice did a fantastic job of capturing the cadence of a working class family, their inflections and how they might talk to each other. He did a great job with the female voices and the various accents that were sometime required. He brought life to Pat's voice and I highly recommend the audio version to anyone who has been curious about this book.
I really liked this story. I wasn't in love with the narrator at first, but then realized he really was the character Pat. I am looking forward to seeing the movie now, to compare the stories. Enjoy
I'm just this guy, y'know?
I don't usually feel that way, but in this case, the subtle (and less-subtle) changes made to adapt the story to the movie were distracting, even if they were mostly for the best (for a movie).
As a native of the Delaware Valley, I did enjoy all of the Eagles references though. :)
Great story, great characters, important themes. Very well presented.
Ray Porter does a great job portraying the various characters, including women.
I enjoyed this book and thought it was a wonderful portrait of someone with a diagnosed mental illness dealing with the real world and all of the undiagnosed crazy-making things that go on in that world. The movie did a good job with this as well but was able to achieve a more uplifting message in the end.
I love to read... love to listen while I walk my dog, Sally Jo.
This was a wonderful story. Took a mental health situation and made it almost heart-warming. I am glad I read the book before seeing the movie... so much could have been missed since my imagination added much more tio the book.
I am married with 2 boys and live in Midland Texas.
MEANINGFUL, HEART FELT, ENCOURAGING
I really enjoyed how real the 2 main characters are. They have so many negative qualities that most would find almost impossible to look past to find any sort of connection or love. But they are the 2 most perfect human beings in the world that fit together at that one moment in each other's life. Possibly the worst moments in each other's life. The book leaves you with a incredibly warm feeling of peace and resolvement which contrasts the out of control way the 2 characters behave most of the book.
I really enjoyed the feeling in his voice. I truely felt what he was feeling while he read the words.
Pat. His struggle is understandable and relatable to many. His father didn't help his illness at all so I felt pity for him.
I must have gotten the wrong idea from the publisher's quick writeup and review as I got it expecting it to be a much lighter tale. It is not. Listener, be prepared: while the plot and characters are certainly interesting enough to engage one, it is full of intense emotions, of anguish, fear, sadness, unkindness, and secrets.
From start to finish you watch the lead character, Pat, wrestle with his own denials, which give him an obviously (to the listener) distorted view of his life even while he gets more and more information that challenges it. As the story goes on you discover that some form of denial infects most of the characters.
But there is also whimsy and hope, a hope based on reality, not fantasy. Moments of relief and humor came from the portrayal of the seriously dedicated sports fan culture, what life is like surrounded by people whose main topic of conversation, reason for socializing, means of relating within a family, and self-identity is as a fan of a local national football club. I've certainly never come across a plot based on those characteristics before!
Maybe. I'd check out other's reviews first to get as realistic a description as is possible before making up my mind.
The lead character, Pat Peeples.
Yes, but once is enough, though I did learn quite a bit about being a dedicated sports fan!
So when I went to watch this movie, I saw it was based on a novel by Matthew quick, I'd previously never heard of this author. I enjoyed the movie thoroughly so I decided to get the book. Needless to say the movie and the book a quite different from each other but I loved this book.
Firstly the message Pat is trying to live by, he wants to be a better person to try get back his wife Nicky so he "practices to be kind and not right" as he puts it and believes in silver linings as long as he practice to be kind and not right. Of course life is not perfect and we cannot control other people actions. Pat tries to re-connect with his father and visits "the best therapist in the world" while he tries to piece his life together after being in a mental facility. If Pat is crazy then Victoria is more crazy but her heart in a good place. I loved the message and theme for this book; being positive, kind and hope that every chapter you read you are continuously hopeful that Pat can get better and his silver lining will come.
Secondly since I watched the movie before reading the book I was a little surprised by the narration. The narrator sounded a little slow (mentally), though the character suffers from a mental disorder (bipolar syndrome) he is not slow nor suffers from a low IQ. So at first I was slightly surprised, but I soon got over this and the narrator drew me to the story and when it was over, it felt too soon. This book is definitely a repeat listen for me, and I recommend it because the book gives you hope and makes you a believer in silver linings.
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