Title: The Silver Linings Playbook
Author: Matthew Quick
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Release Date: September 2nd, 2008
Source: Borrowed from my local library
Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him — the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being hunted by Kenny G!
Probably the best word for this book is quirky. The characters have distinct voices, and the narrator’s (Pat) is rather odd and enchanting, being very childlike. His voice matures throughout the novel, as he heals post-mental-facility (what he calls The Bad Place) but it remains distinctive.
It’s probably bad to say I identified with a so-called mentally deranged (his words, not mine) MC, but I truly did. I also felt like every single character in this book is recognizable. Who hasn’t known a woman like his mom, a friend like Ronnie, a therapist like Cliff, etc.?
There’s a lot of references to football in this book, but you don’t need to understand it. There’s also a lot of repetition of phrases, which could be annoying to some, but it had a charming context of innocent conviction. And overall, it’s a lovely story about trauma, self-improvement, conviction, grief, and beautiful lies we tell ourselves. And mostly, hope.
I recommend it for fans of contemporary fiction, anyone looking for a book that handles psychological issues well without being really depressing, anyone who is a fan of the Philly Eagles, and anyone looking for a unique and quirky character.
Plus, the narrator for the audiobook does a phenomenal job with the voices! Now I’m on to watch the movie, and see if it did the book justice at all.