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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

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  •  
    FanB14 04-22-13
    FanB14 04-22-13

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Eagles Victory"

    Pat has returned home after spending time in a "bad place" with no recollection of the last 4 years. His mother, brother, best friend, and new therapist provide support and are all avid Eagles fans. Pat works out incessantly, reads good works of literature, and tries to be nicer in hopes of finding his way back to his estranged wife Nikki. Photos of the two are gone from the family home and Pat doesn't understand why no one will tell him what happened. He believes if he transforms, she will take him back.

    Enter the clinically depressed sister-in-law of his best friend as a blind date and the story takes shape. She is real and visceral and they see each other through the myriad medications and mental road blocks.

    Pat speaks to the reader in a straightforward dialogue, often addressing you personally. He refuses to give up or give in to pessimism, believing every cloud has a silver lining. This is a bittersweet love story and with equal parts humor and sorrow. Finishing the book left me with the idea, the only way to move on is to simply let go.

    42 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-09-13
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-09-13 Member Since 2006

    65 y/o father of two sons. Married 25 yrs. Audible member for 8 yrs. I can hardly read books with my eyes any more. I love reviewing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A remarkable achievement."

    Matthew Quick has accomplished several amazing things here, and it's really hard to list them all. First, he has documented the nature of mental illness in general and bipolar disorder in fine detail, the first book (in my experience) to do this in novel form. Second, he has drawn a terrific, touching love story between two people who are both fragile and suffering from loss. They are both determined, nonetheless, to find the "silver linings" in life. Three, he has depicted a suffering family which is trying to cope with a deeply disturbed, isolated and enraged father. Fourth, he has portrayed the love story between a community and its football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. The passion that the fans have for their team is almost unimaginable in its ferocity, a love that many men understand and many women cannot. If you are a woman, just think of sports as male emotionality. Fifth (I am counting) he has depicted a very unusual relationship between a therapist and his patient. Cliff, the psychiatrist who follows Pat after his four-year involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital, is also a raving Eagles fan, who delights in jumping out of his chair and doing the Eagles chant. When Pat is puzzled by this (as who wouldn't be), Cliff says, "When I sit in this chair, I am your therapist. When I get out of this chair, I am your friend and fellow Eagles fan." Can you imagine any psychiatrist, if you know any, who could do such a thing?
    I have lost track of all that Mr. Quick has done here, but, trust me, it is an awe-inspiring thing. For one in the profession (I am a psychologist), it is all the more astounding. That the book works so well on all of these levels, and more, is just a pleasure. I think Mr. Quick is a young author, and I hope we will hear more from him.
    Mr. Porter does a great job with this challenging material. Serious mental illness is frightening, and both these men have done a wonderful job of conveying the torment that these patients suffer. Even so, the book is uplifting. If you have seen the movie, you know that it is wonderful as well, but it is quite different.. A movie has much different rules than a book, and it just can't convey the richness of this work of fiction. The book may be hard to listen to at times, as Mr. Quick does not pull any punches, so just put it down for a while and then come back to it. The book and the movie combined have contributed to the process of destigmatizing mental illness, which is all very much to the good. I am preaching here, so I will stop. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

    60 of 67 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mariah BOULDER, CO, United States 06-28-13
    Mariah BOULDER, CO, United States 06-28-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Even better than the movie!"

    I was expecting this book to be pretty much the same as the movie, which I really enjoyed. The book follows a fairly different story arc than the movie, with less of an emphasis on the dance and the relationship with Tiffany, and more of an emphasis on Patrick's philosophy and recovery...and his love of the Eagles. The narrator was perfect--he captured Pat's boy-like manner, and also did a great accent for Cliff, the Indian psychologist. All in all a really great listen!

    5 of 6 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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laurie SARASOTA, FL, United States 03-10-13
    laurie SARASOTA, FL, United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2011

    I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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    "So much more than the wonderful movie"

    Another reviewer said the movie was "a trailer for the book," and I can't improve on that description. This book was wonderful. If you loved the film, you will find more complex, more fleshed-out characters and situations that are not as pat as a movie script demands.You'll like the book a lot more, I bet.

    The narrator nails the psychiatrist's accent, which was one of the most enjoyable parts of this Audible experience for me. The women's voices weren't as distinguishable--slightly higher and quicker than the men's, but that was OK.

    I found this to be a fascinating romance of two troubled individuals and their healing.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Calder 01-29-13
    L. Calder 01-29-13 Member Since 2004

    Gardening Geek

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    "Fantastic entree to movie appetizer"

    Jennifer Lawrence's extraordinary performance saved the movie of this book, but the Matthew Quick's novel filled in the myriad of strange gaps that either the editors or screen writer left me and my companion as we left the theater a bit bewildered. Ray Porter's narration coupled with Quick's excellent dialogue made this incredibly well done story swim by. The way Quick ever so slowly brought us to the understanding of Pat's and Tiffany's traumas was brilliant. The characters in the book are so more complex and compelling than their counterparts in the movie, where they almost became caricatures. Feel like the movie was a trailer to one remarkable book, which I've urged all my friends who saw the movie to read.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 03-09-13
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 03-09-13 Member Since 2005

    A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...

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    "One Exceptional Experience!"
    What did you love best about The Silver Linings Playbook?

    Here is a masterpiece and maybe the best book I have found on Audible, yet it deals with perhaps the hardest subject matter there is in modern literature. There are so many reasons I love this book, its hard to rank them.

    But let me start with Ray Porter's narration.I have listed him before in my top 3 performers, but there is no question this one makes him the top narrator on Audible. And that is from a library of over 800 titles. There are alot of emotions and even deadpan dialect within this book and Porter captures it all perfectly.

    The story revolves around mental illness, a very sensitive and often tragic subject matter. It does not burden us with diagnosis, yet it blesses us with the healing power of excellent therapy. And there is the perfect amount of humor to keep us interested.

    Perhaps what I loved most was Quick's use of classic American literature to provide clever and penetrating metaphors to tell us what the hero is actually facing and/or running from.


    What other book might you compare The Silver Linings Playbook to and why?

    The Help. Its groundbreaking literature exmaning mental illness as opposed to race to reveal true human experience.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee HOUSTON, TX, United States 05-31-14
    Lee HOUSTON, TX, United States 05-31-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Fascinating story from a psychological standpoint."
    Where does The Silver Linings Playbook rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is a book that I would recommend to others.


    What other book might you compare The Silver Linings Playbook to and why?

    I would compare it to other books whose narrator and main character is one who is afflicted with a psychological disease. It was fascinating! It was a completely different story than the movie, by the way. But, Jennifer Lawrence was perfect for the movie. I thought the book was fantastic.


    Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I have not. I LOVED Ray Porter's performance. I have not heard him read before, but will search him out again. He portrayed the character perfectly, in my opinion.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting book to read. I love books that get into the human psyche and why people act, think and feel they way they do.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cambridge Mn reader Cambridge, Mn 12-09-13
    Cambridge Mn reader Cambridge, Mn 12-09-13 Member Since 2010

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "loved it"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Silver Linings Playbook to be better than the print version?

    Ray Porter does an excellent job of making to characters come alive in this book!! I loved it!!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kali Walnut Creek, CA 09-01-13
    Kali Walnut Creek, CA 09-01-13 Member Since 2010
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    "After the movie, worth a read?"

    “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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
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