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)
“Life is hard, and children have to be told how hard life can be…So they will be sympathetic to others. So they will understand that some people have it harder than they do and that a trip through this world can be a wildly different experience, depending on what chemicals are raging through one’s mind.” - Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook
After listening to the novel last year's popular movie was based on, I understand why other readers at Audible.com sing its praises from the mountaintops. The story’s protagonist and narrator, Pat, gains a lot of his charm through dry descriptions of his erratic behavior. The ease with which Pat explains his odd, compulsive actions and his simplistic outlook on life result in a very amusing read. I am not a laugh out loud person, which makes watching comedies slightly uncomfortable for me, but I did spontaneously laugh out loud a few times while listening to The Silver Linings Playbook.
The novel is Pat’s tale – he stands out from a crowd of slightly flat supporting characters. In the movie, the character of Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) has been fleshed out and amped up to meet Pat (Bradley Cooper) at his level of charm. Jennifer Lawrence’s Tiffany steals the show in the film, and in the book Tiffany doesn’t have a few of her most memorable scenes.
Another standout feature of the book was its portrayal of the joy of rituals surrounding Pat’s beloved football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. I am not a sports fan and I did just do a quick Google search to confirm that the Eagles are, in fact, a football team; however, this book made me understand and appreciate the sheer pleasure of rooting for a team with all your closest friends, yelling chants and getting hyped.
Maybe predictable for the Hollywood version of any story, the movie feels a lot lighter than the book. Extra plot arcs are created to make the movie goer care a bit more. Although laden with humor, the subject matter here is at its core bleak – mental illness, family dysfunction, loss. The jokes based on Pat’s narration, clever and fresh at the beginning of the novel, felt stale by its end.
Movies that are better than the book they are based on are rare birds – it takes a vivid, complicated movie to master a novel’s plot. Like Fight Club before it, I believe The Silver Linings Playbook has pulled off this feat. The book is charming and witty, but the movie reaches a higher level of creativity.
Matthew Quick has written several books since The Silver Linings Playbook and they all sound worthy of a read.
History been keep from race love been good come most August local area years focus
The story is constantly going and does not have dull moments. The change of voices helped keep my attention as well.
How it validated that rituals are therapeutic for a tramatized mind and the different views of PTSD and other mental illnesses that are not normally written about.
The expression of the characters.
Pat's mom. She seems like an amazing woman who has worked so hard to keep her family together and happy. No one wants to hear her point of view or her story and I would love to listen to it.
As a student in the psychological field, I appreciated the different perspective on the therapist / client relationship. I liked how he didn't remember the incident that put him in the "bad place" until the end. Whereas in the movie, it reveals that immediately. The book gives a better understanding and perspective on Dissociative Amnesia and also many different factors of PTSD that is generally not spoken of.
Normally I would avoid a book with so much family conflict but listening to it read exactly as I imagined it should be made such a difference. I loved the repeated Eagles cheer and detail every time of how they make the letters with their bodies. I can practically sing the fight song now and I'm not a football fan. The underlying themes that run through Pat's self talk are so realistic and rational, I agreed more with him than most non-medicated people. I liked the mantras and all of the imperfections the characters had. I did laugh but it is in no way a comedy. It's a well told story of someone lucky enough to have figured some things out.
This narrator did a great job of capturing Pat's character. The way he attacked some sentences really echoed the character's emotional investment and whole-hearted belief in what he was saying/thinking.
It was also interesting to see how the characters around Pat were reacting to him. His mother, for instance, deserves a lot of sympathy. She is truly just doing the best she could!
For so much of the book Pat is set on this one goal, but he is not a stagnant character. His development is not only inspiring, but it is believable and realistic.
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