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The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel | [Matthew Quick]

The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel

During his years in a neural-health facility, Pat Peoples has formulated a theory about silver linings. He believes that his life is a movie produced by God, that his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and that if he succeeds, his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

During his years in a neural-health facility, Pat Peoples has formulated a theory about silver linings. He believes that his life is a movie produced by God, that his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and that if he succeeds, his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki.

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

What the Critics Say

"This offbeat story has all the markings of a crowd-pleaser." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1891 )
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4.4 (1709 )
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  •  
    Mark ONTARIO, CA, United States 04-15-13
    Mark ONTARIO, CA, United States 04-15-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Very Well Done"

    Very well done but absolutely nothing like the movie. Same characters, only more real and flawed, with a similar story although drastically differring in parts. Both versions are good, it's easy to see why the broad changes were made to these hard to like characters in an effort to appeal to more people, but be clear before you get started, THIS IS NOT THE MOVIE. If you can get past this truth, as it took me awhile, you'll enjoy yourself very much.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leigh Mount Pleasant, SC United States 04-11-13
    Leigh Mount Pleasant, SC United States 04-11-13 Member Since 2013

    There is nothing better than a good book!

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    "What a TREAT!"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Wichita, KS, United States 03-29-13
    Greg Wichita, KS, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2010

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Is the movie better than the book???"

    The narration was great and the story moved right along, but there was nothing earth shattering or surprising. I kept hoping for a twist, but alas - nothing abnormal. I will watch the movie and see what all the fuss was about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Cuayhoga Falls, OH, United States 05-31-13
    Jennifer Cuayhoga Falls, OH, United States 05-31-13 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my Favorite"

    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....

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RaisinNut PA, USA 10-05-12
    RaisinNut PA, USA 10-05-12 Member Since 2011

    Making the world better one review at a time.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You Will Laugh Out Loud"
    Would you listen to The Silver Linings Playbook again? Why?

    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.


    What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mon San Francisco, Ca 12-07-13
    Mon San Francisco, Ca 12-07-13 Member Since 2010

    12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Better than the Movie"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Silver Linings Playbook?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Porter – was your favorite?

    Pat - he was dynamic and depressed. Ray Porter was able to convey both desperation and elation.


    If you could take any character from The Silver Linings Playbook out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 07-18-13
    AudioAddict 07-18-13

    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!

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    "Sorta tedious, but loved the ending"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tricia - Audible NJ, United States 01-11-13
    Tricia - Audible NJ, United States 01-11-13 Member Since 2010

    Constantly in search of the perfect listen.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fly, Eagles, fly. On the road to victory..."

    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.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Barber 10-23-14
    T. Barber 10-23-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved the movie but liked the book more"
    Where does The Silver Linings Playbook rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Ended up enjoying this performance, but took a bit to warm up to the reader.


    What did you like best about this story?

    First person narrative is always interesting to me, so I really liked Pat's POV as he was dealing with his particular mental issues.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really loved the final scene of the book. It was simple and cathartic and natural. The movie had an interesting story arc, most of which came from the book, but the dance scene happens in the middle of the book. There is still a climactic moment for the book, but it is much quieter. I liked that.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenifer Evers 10-04-14

    Jenifer

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    "Captivating"
    Would you listen to The Silver Linings Playbook again? Why?

    I will likely listen to this again. The narrator is absolutely wonderful in his performance and interpretation of the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author does an amazing job of developing tension and conveying the perspective of the primary character. The narrator is so great as well.


    What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The voice he gave Pat in particular. He did an excellent job with each character in my opinion, but he made Pat very likeable and believable.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me smile a number of times. I absolutely loved the characters and Ray Porter's ability to give each of them a unique voice was superb.


    Any additional comments?

    The audiobook is FAR superior to the movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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