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)
Pat has been living in a mental health institute for a long time. His mother decides that he has been there long enough and gets him released into her custody. Pat is very excited about this, because he feels that with some hard work, he can end "apart time" with his wife Nikki. Before Pat entered the mental health institute, he and Nikki agreed to separate for a little bit of time. With the help of his therapist Cliff, the Philadelphia Eagles, and his new friend Tiffany, Pat might be able to regain the life he desperately wants.
A few months ago, I watched The Silver Linings Playbook. I thought it was a charming and quiet movie. I found a few rough edges in the movie, but all of my minor annoyances with the movie generally got swept away by the time the credits rolled. When I saw the audio book waw on sale, I decided to pick it up. I promptly forgot about the book until I had to drive to Pittsburgh and saw that it was the perfect length for driving there and back (~6 hours round trip).
The Silver Linings Playbook is so lovely. Like the movie, this is a quiet character transformation piece. There is excitement and surprises throughout the book, but it is a character piece about someone struggling with mental illness. Speaking of that, I found that this book did an excellent job of portraying mental illness. In the movie, Pat is labeled with a particular mental illness. I did not completely agree with this diagnosis. In the book, Pat is not given a diagnosis (at least I didn't notice one), and I thought this was a better choice. What Pat is experiencing in this book and his journey to recovery felt quite genuine. I didn't feel like I was rubbernecking someone else's problems, which I typically feel when I am reading fictional accounts of mental illness. Generally speaking, I like people's memoirs of their struggles with mental illness, but this book is makes me want to take a second look at fictional accounts. I also want to note that I really liked Cliff, Pat's therapist. Cliff did some things that are not traditionally appropriate for a therapist to do; however, Quick's portrayal of Cliff was much better than most therapists that I see on television or in books. In my real life, I study psychology, so poorly written accounts of mental illness and/or therapists is a pet peeve of mine (you should watch me watch Grey's Anatomy).
I thought that Quick did a great job of showing one man struggle with his mental illness within a family that is going through their own problems. Usually books like this only showcase the person with the mental illness or showcase that person within a totally crazy family (e.g., drug abuse, sexual abuse, or physical abuse). This book did a fantastic job of showing an everyday family deal with a difficult situation.
A big part of this book is Pat and his family's love of football and the Philadelphia Eagles. I thought the Eagles talk worked really well within the story; however, I can understand if this could be a turn off for someone else. All you need to know about football to appreciate what is happening in this book is that the Philadelphia Eagles play football.
If you are considering reading the book and seeing the movie, I would recommend seeing the movie first. You will be spoiled for a few things, but I think you will be able to enjoy both better this way. The movie makes some drastic changes from the book that work well for the movie, but I think I would personally be angry with these changes, if I had read the book first. I should note that the rough edges that I noticed in the movie were all smoothed over when I read the book. The rough edges in the movies appeared, because the movie people had to make changes to condense the book. The book is much smoother.
Audio: I thought that the reader was really greater. Tone, pacing, and inflection were fantastic. Porter also did a nice job with changing his voice for the different characters. I was really happy with his reading, and I will seek out other books read by him.
My mother raved about the movie, and I thought...this is going to be weepy and lame, BUT I could not have been MORE wrong. This was a fascinating book with great characters. Everyone is broken, but in VERY different ways. It went by SOO quick, and was definitely a page turner. If you are looking for something off your regular reading book list, I would highly recommend this one.
What a refreshing and wonderful take on "love" in our time. Two broken souls find love in all the strange ways. I really enjoyed the narrator's interpretation on the character, esp. Pat. Definitely will listen to it again.
I have not seen the movie and I bought this book on impulse. I really had no expectations for what I was about to listen to, but from the opening paragraphs I was hooked. I believe it is the way the story is crafted more than the story line itself that is so remarkable. Quick uses a 1st person voice and writes in simple sentences. However, simple certainly doesn't mean unsophisticated or childish. Indeed it was subtle and elegant. He paces the story and reveals the details Pat's history perfectly. Much of the book I felt as if I were on beam and the story could tumble out of control either into darkness or the other way, into the some kind of sappy feel-good non-sense. But Quick maintains that tension beautifully through out.
I will say that I was surprised by this book and found it to be the most compelling book I've read or listened to this year. Well done Matthew Quick!
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Ray Porter does an excellent job of making to characters come alive in this book!! I loved it!!
12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!
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.
Pat - he was dynamic and depressed. Ray Porter was able to convey both desperation and elation.
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.
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.
I really enjoyed the movie and was curious about the book after a friend of mine told me how different it was. It was VERY different from the movie, but equally as good.
Working mom (HRMgr/healthcare) in western Michigan. INTJ. Red Vines. Disneyfreak.
I ordered this without reading other reviews - a first for me. Loved the author's style, structure, character development, and story. I can't wait to see the movie now, but I have a feeling this will be one where I love the book better. I fell in love with the characters and the pacing was just perfect. Could not 'put it down'. Wonderful.
This audiobook ranks at 3.
This audiobook was so different from anything else I have listened to it is hard to find a comparison. However, the closest similarity is Charles Martin "When Crickets Cry".
I really liked his overall performance. He kept each character separate by slightly changing his tone and pitch. Porter made each character stand apart.
I would take the main character Pat Peoples out to dinner. He was disconnected from reality to the point that he was willing to think his wife still loved him and wanted to be married to him. Through it all he saw the glass half full.
I have already recommended this book to many friends, because it's great. It must be listened to, because reading it will not be as fun.
I liked the narrator best.
I like the scenes with the psychiatrist the best.
The main character is the most memorable, because you get to hear what is going on in his head, which seems fairly normal.
Listen to this book, don't read it, and don't go to see the movie first. The movie does not really represent the book accurately. The movie does a disservice to the book.
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