Fred Said

Review Blog

The Silver Linings Playbook (Matthew Quick)

Posted by Fred on January 7, 2013 at 7:25 PM

January 8, 2013

I got interested to watch "The Silver Linings Playbook" only because of the upcoming film of the same title which was receiving a lot of awards buzz.  I thought it would be a good idea to read the book first before the film, starring the unlikely pair of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, who were both nominated for Golden Globes acting awards for their work.

"The Silver Linings Playbook" was about a mentally-disturbed man named Pat Peoples.  He had just been brought home from the mental institution by his loving mom.  He spends his days exercising at home, running, and visiting his unorthodox therapist, Dr. Cliff Patel.  All of this he is doing in order to get ready to reunite with his wife Nikki, the silver lining he was yearning for. However, with time he realizes that what he knew was only part of a huge secret iceberg that his loved ones were staunchly keeping from him.  His odd friendship with Tiffany, a similarly mentally-disturbed lady in their neighborhood, leads Pat into a rude awakening about what really happened to him before being sent to the institution.  

The book was surprisingly easy to read.  The language was simple and straightforward.  For something that dealt with very serious topic of mental instability and divorce, the text had a very child-like perspective and narration.  I enjoyed reading the parts where Pat was analyzing classic novels like "The Great Gatsby," "The Bell Jar" or "Catcher in the Rye".  People who have not read these books need to be warned that there are spoilers though as to how these novels end.  There is also a recurring mention of Kenny G. which was particularly funny the way it was written.

The credits reveal that this was author Matthew Quick's first novel.  He thus set it in his hometown of Philadelphia and devoted a lot of pages about the fan rituals of the football team, the Eagles, Quick's favorite and well as the favorite of Pat's family and friends.  The overall result is a funny bittersweet drama that was frank as much as it was charming and quirky.  I can fully imagine Bradley Cooper as Pat, although in the book Pat describes himself as unattractive.  But Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany, now that I have to see.

Categories: Books

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