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The Silver Linings Playbook [movie tie-in…
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The Silver Linings Playbook [movie tie-in edition]: A Novel (original 2008; edition 2012)

by Matthew Quick

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1,6201004,477 (3.88)88
Member:labwriter
Title:The Silver Linings Playbook [movie tie-in edition]: A Novel
Authors:Matthew Quick
Info:Sarah Crichton Books (2012), Edition: Mti, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Books read in 2013, 2010 fiction, Fiction, Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (2008)

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From my Cannonball Read V review...

I tend to gravitate towards non-fiction books. Reading literature in school involved so much analysis; I got to a point after my last literature class where I felt I didn’t know how to read fiction on my own, without a guide or a discussion around it to try to find the ‘deeper’ meaning. What’s the point of picking up a classic if I’m going to miss all of the nuance?

On occasion, however, a work of fiction sounds interesting and I’m willing to give it a whirl. Generally speaking I’ve been lucky with my picks - and “Silver Linings Playbook” continues that lucky streak. If you’ve not yet read it, and can get past the idea of picturing the dude from “The Hangover” and Katniss Everdeen in the main roles, I think you’ll find you’re in for a quick but satisfying read. I read it in three days and found I was disappointed not in the ending, but in the fact that it was done. This is a book that had me thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it, and wanting to get back to it when I was doing other things.

We meet the protagonist Pat briefly in a psychiatric facility. His perspective is the one we experience throughout the novel; it’s a first person narrative that usually works. Pat consistently refers to the facility as the ‘bad place,’ which is one of the turns of phrase author Matthew Quick uses to lead us to think that there’s something a little off about Pat. That phrase, along with Pat insisting on referring to his separation from his wife as ‘apart time,’ were really the only things about the book that consistently bothered me. I think I get what Quick was going for, but the phrases really just pulled me out of the story. Thankfully, I was able to get past that and enjoy the writing, but I do wish Quick had found another way to demonstrate the developmental pause the character seems to have taken.

Pat has been sprung from the mental health facility by his mother, who has arranged for Pat to live back home with her and her inattentive, Eagles football-obsessed husband. Pat is focused on staying in amazing physical shape and acting kindly so that he can win back his wife Nikki. Clearly we get the sense that something is wrong with his assumption that he has any chance getting back with Nikki; he even repeatedly admits to himself that he treated her poorly. However, it’s clear that there’s more to that story, and over the course of the novel we find out, for the most part, what’s really going on.

To try to help bring Pat back into the outside world, Pat’ friend Robbie reintroduces him to Tiffany, who is working through her own mental health issues. She’s a young widow who rarely speaks but, when she does, chooses the fewest words necessary to get her point across. She’s blunt, a little socially awkward, and possibly interested in Pat. Pat wants nothing to do with her but, due to some clever work on her part, is pulled into a mutually beneficial relationship.

Given their respective circumstances, it could have been so easy for the author to lead us to pity them. And perhaps some readers will feel that emotion as they get to know their stories. For me, I felt more empathy and a little bit of hope as the novel progressed. Quick does a great job of showing honest emotions without begging the reader to cry or just feel so darned sorry for them. The characters are flawed, but from my perspective they are flawed in realistic ways. They could be our friends, and that helps make the connection to their plights more real.

Finally, the book has a resolution that is incomplete, although not frustratingly so. I’m warning you now: not every storyline is wrapped up at the end. The author doesn’t end it all with a knock on a door followed by a fade to black what-will-happen-next scene (I’m looking at you, ‘Sideways,’), but he doesn’t give us an epilogue or address every relationship that has formed or broken throughout the story. I enjoy that – I don’t need a totally messy ending, but I do like one in which it is expected that the characters will still go on and have struggles to face and issues to resolve.

I’m only on book five, but so far this year this is my favorite. If I can keep finding novels like this one, I just might have to put some of the non-fiction books on my reading list on hold. ( )
  ASKelmore | Jul 8, 2017 |
Loved this book. It touches on mental illness, which may be difficult for others to talk about. The authors shows sympathy for the characters as they go through the difficult aspects of life.It also shows how difficult it may be for the friends and family that are trying to support and understand the illness. ( )
  GoodVibes1010 | Jul 7, 2017 |
Sidenote: I watched the movie prior to listening to this book and I have to say I was confused by the casting choices when I watched the film and am now even more confused.

There are parts of this book that I really like. For example I love that Pat is going through the entirity of Nikki's reading list and I love his commentary on the books he reads. It was fantastic to read commentary that so many people think but are too afraid to vocalize.

I also love unreliable narrators who are completely out of touch with reality. Pat is most definitely an unreliable narrator but he is so entertaining that you can't help but find his delusion slightly charming.

I wasn't a big fan of the AHHHH E-A-G-L-E-S or the consistent dropping of the f-bomb. I also found myself to be fairly bored with the plot. If you read this go into it expecting to be charmed by the narration but slightly bored by the plot. ( )
  Emma_Manolis | Jun 27, 2017 |
I liked this book but not quite as much as [b:The Good Luck of Right Now|18054175|The Good Luck of Right Now|Matthew Quick|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1370898422s/18054175.jpg|25337922], which I thought had more heart. After hiding throughout the whole book what exactly happened between Pat and Nikki, the reveal was anticlimactic. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
Loved it! Books are always so much better than the movies!! ( )
  gail616 | May 29, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Quick, Matthewprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, RayReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Alicia -- la raison
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I don't have to look up to know Mom is making another surprise visit.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine this entry for the book with the movie of the same name!
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Pat Peoples has a theory that his life is actually a movie produced by God, and that his God-given mission in life is to become emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending – which, for Pat, means the return of his estranged wife Nikki, from whom he's currently having some 'apart time.' It might not come as any surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.

When Pat leaves hospital and goes to live with his parents, however, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki; his old friends now have families; his beloved football team keep losing; his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy. And he's being haunted by Kenny G.

There is a silver lining, however, in the form of tragically widowed, physically fit and clinically depressed Tiffany, who offers to act as a go-between for Pat and his wife, if Pat will just agree to perform in this year’s Dance Away Depression competition.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374264260, Hardcover)

An enchanting first novel about love, madness, and Kenny G.

The Silver Linings Playbook is the riotous and poignant story of how one man regains his memory and comes to terms with the magnitude of his wife’s betrayal.

During the years he spends in a neural health facility, Pat Peoples formulates a theory about silver linings: he believes his life is a movie produced by God, his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and 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; his old friends are saddled with families; the Philadelphia Eagles keep losing, making his father moody; and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.

When Pat meets the tragically widowed and clinically depressed Tiffany, she offers to act as a liaison between him and his wife, if only he will give up watching football, agree to perform in this year’s Dance Away Depression competition, and promise not to tell anyone about their “contract.” All the while, Pat keeps searching for his silver lining.

In this brilliantly written debut novel, Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat’s mind, deftly showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective. The result is a touching and funny story that helps us look at both depression and love in a wonderfully refreshing way.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:39 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

During the years he spends in a neural health facility, Pat Peoples formulates a theory about silver linings: he believes his life is a movie produced by God, his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and 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; his old friends are saddled with families; the Philadelphia Eagles keep losing, making his father moody; and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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