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)
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 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.
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.
I am a daily commuter, 1 hour each way. Audible rides shotgun with me every day. The time flies by when I am listening to a good book.
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.
Life Coach. Spiritual self-help memoir junkie. Mom in love with my kiddos. Trying to remember joy as I get older.
His accents and dialects, especially in the male characters, are perfectly nuanced. I would swear his Dr. Patel is a an Indian man speaking and the characters of Jake and Pat's father are very authentic Philly accents and voices.
I love Pat, inside and out.
Haven't seen the movie yet, but am looking forward to it.
For this particular book I would have preferred the print version simply because I did not enjoy the performance by the narrator. Overall, I don't think the story would change much but there were areas when I felt the performance detracted from the mood of the novel and almost ruined key moments.
It is difficult to choose a favorite character in this book. Since it is written mostly from Pat's perspective, his character is the one in which you have the most interaction. His quest to improve himself is interesting and heartbreaking at times. I think many readers can identify with his self-doubt and anger.
When reading the female characters in the book, the narrator tried to use a more feminine voice. It was distracting and pulled focus from the scene being set, minimalizing the emotional reaction that could have been elicited from the reader. I would not choose a book by Mr. Porter in the future.
There was more than one point in the book that brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Matthew Quick wrote a great story in which he should be proud.
I saw the movie before reading the book, which is something I hate to do (and do not do if I know about the book first). The book is very different from the movie, but it stands completely on its own. It has depth in areas that the movie lacks. The movie reveals many of the books secrets early and without much emotional impact. I usually would say I like a book much more than the movie (in rare instances this is not true), but in this instance I would say that the journeys were so different that each can stand completely on their own.My major problem with the audio book was the narrator and his interpretation of female characters.
I think that the audio version is great and helps bring the book to life.
The authors ability to have a sense of humor regarding such a serious subject and allow the reader to experience what the families and friends have to cope with.
I think that he made the characters come to life
The Meaning of Time
The book was absolutely fantastic compared to the movie. The characters were real and not some Hollywood feel good interpretation. It shows you that people are still uncomfortable dealing with the mentally ill even though it's 2013!
I didn't know anything about this book until the movie came out, but I hadn't yet seen the movie when I decided to listen to the audiobook. I did so based on some of the reviews, but I didn't have real high hopes for it, since it appeared to be the typical quirky romantic chick flick story, albeit with a little twist (mental illness).
I was wrong. I loved it. It was sweet, but tragic, it didn't wrap things up too neatly in the end to be believable, but it did give you an ending you were happy with. It was funny, but sad. Crazy, but kind of normal. I loved the main character, and the narrator was excellent. The only thing I might change is that he had a tendency to occasionally speak in a more childish voice than I would have liked, when it comes to the main characters delusional thought processes, as if being bipolar makes you borderline retarded or something. Other than that, it was perfect.
I watched the movie afterwards, and though it did have a few major differences from the book, it was still a decent movie. I will almost always choose the book over a movie, though, and that was definitely the case here. I might actually even listen to this one again, at some point.
I was a little concerned when I purchased Silver Linings Playbook that it would track the movie directly, such that there would be very little point to reading it. My suspicions seemed confirmed for the first hour or so of the book. After that, it became clear that these characters are NOT the same as in the film, and the nuances of Pat's mental illness are much better described than they are in the film. You feel connected to him and his "silver lining" in a way the movie was never able to get across.
The first-person style of Silver Linings reminds me of a grown-up version of Perks of Being a Wallflower. The protagonist's voice is full of childlike emotion. Pat's matter-of-fact way of describing the chaotic events in his life is jarring and disorienting at times, but it makes the entire experience real. Each time Pat says, "I felt," "I thought," "I said," you become more and more invested in his quest.
The narrator of this audiobook is one of the best I've ever heard. It's the little things that count - emphasizing the words "Stomach-Master 6000" every time, the way he recites the "montage" scene, the way he gives each character depth and his or her own voice. I especially like the portrayal of Tiffany. It's hard for a male narrator to accurately portray a female character, especially one so atypical.
Long story shot: if you've seen the movie, don't expect a book about dancing, or even a book about football (although Eagles football comes up on almost every page). Dancing is a small plot device that brings Pat and Tiffany together in a visceral, emotional way. The vast majority of the book is not about success, and not about failure, but about family and love and making oneself whole. The result is noting short of poignant.
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