An enchanting first novel about love, madness, and Kenny G.
A New York Times bestseller, The Silver Linings Playbook was adapted into the Oscar-winning movie starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. It tells 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.
Pat Peoples, the endearing narrator of this touching and funny debut, is down on his luck. The former high school history teacher has just been released from a mental institution and placed in the care of his mother. Not one to be discouraged, Pat believes he has only been on the inside for a few months rather than four years and plans on reconciling with his estranged wife. Refusing to accept that their "apart time" is actually a permanent separation, Pat spends his days and nights feverishly trying to become the man she had always desired. Our hapless hero makes a "friend" in Tiffany, the mentally unstable, widowed sister-in-law of his best friend, Ronnie. Each day as Pat heads out for his 10-mile run, Tiffany silently trails him, refusing to be shaken off by the object of her affection. The odd pair try to navigate a timid friendship, but as Pat is unable to discern friend from foe and reality from deranged optimism, every day proves to be a cringe-worthy adventure. Pat is as sweet as a puppy, and his offbeat story has all the markings of a crowd-pleaser.
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Could not put this down!
I downloaded and read this book in a day after my daughter unexpectedly found herself in the middle of the filming of this novel-made-movie in center city Philadelphia (an extra with hopefully some extra face-time!). With De Nero and Bradley Cooper center stage, no doubt the movie will be a winner. The book? Well, I loved it and could not put it down until I finished it, which I paid for dearly at work on Monday. I rooted for Pat Peoples as he struggles with facing reality, and finds help in the most unlikely places. I loved the forming of new and enduring alliances, especially when others who should be counted on, can't be. With a little inside knowledge, I think I know where the movie may depart from the book in at least some aspects, but I must say that with the latter, the writing is simple, honest and true. I thought often, "This is how people talk inside their own heads, whether we admit to it or not." For me, this took the stigma out of mental illness. And as a local author who's lived, worked and based all of my writing in and about the Philly area, it won my favor instantly and never disappointed along the ride as the writing skillfully balanced humor, love, irrational thinking and a passion for our hometowns in a way that we can all relate to. Congrats, Mr. Quick, on your successful debut.
This is probably the only book I've ever read where I'm glad I saw the movie first, as it allowed me to connect on a deeper emotional level with the characters. This phenomenal story will stay with me forever, and has given me the strength to face my own inner demons as well.
Too close for comfort....
The 'Silver Linings Playbook' was a look into a mentally disturbed mind. The protagonist, Pat Peoples, suffered through both inherent character flaws and a brain injury, but the character's great desire to get well was encouraging. The chosen voice of the author was simplistic and realistic considering where Pat was in his recovery, if one can truly recover from mental illness. This book was a quick and enjoyable read. Now I can go and get annoyed with the film adaptation.