Book Review: The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick.


No. of pages: 289 pages

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

Publication Date: 16 October 2012

Setting: Collingswood, New Jersey (United States)

Author: Matthew Quick


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.

Pat knows that life doesn’t always go according to plan, but he is determined to get his life back on track. And avoid being hunted by Kenny G!

In this enchanting novel, Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat’s mind, showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective. As the award-winning novelist Justin Cronin put it: “Tender, soulful, hilarious, and true, The Silver Linings Playbook is a wonderful debut.”

Reader’s Verdict

I honestly didn’t know what to think about or expect from the book. I bought it on a whim and even downloaded the movie because Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are in it. I have yet to watch the movie but at least I’ve read the book. Now I can watch it and then compare both after that.

I read the book with little to zero expectations as I’ve no idea if it would be good or not. In the first few chapters, it was obvious that Pat Peoples was sent to a place for rehabilitation after committing a crime. A crime that the reader wouldn’t know about until a couple of chapters before the book ends. From here, you will learn that Pat is obviously clinging to a reality that didn’t exist yet he desperately wanted it anyway, and strangely, the people surrounding him clearly didn’t think if his ultimate goal of getting Nikki back was possible or ideal for him. Early on, Pat made a pact with himself that he will have to improve himself for Nikki, from improving his fitness and literacy.

Yet, he never once thought that perhaps he doesn’t or shouldn’t have to change everything about his personality to make this woman happy. Maybe in his traumatised mind, he wasn’t aware of it but to a reader, he really doesn’t have to do anything. Improving your attitude towards your wife, always treating your wife with respect, yes and yes. But feeling as though you need to read more American literature so that your wife and her snotty friends would stop laughing at you, no, I don’t think he needed to do anything about that.

I found myself wondering throughout the book, what was the traumatic event that transformed Pat him into such a sad man. When I learnt what he had done to deserve such punishment, I felt even worse for him. Imagine finding your spouse in the shower with another man or woman. Oh, I would lose it too. Would you?

Reading this book was a risk but I’m glad the risk paid off. I found that I could relate to the book and its characters, not so much that I had almost killed someone but because there were areas in the story that spoke volumes to me. It took me 10 days to finish reading it which in itself is a big achievement. Usually, it would take me 2 weeks to a month but I could hardly put this one down. I quite enjoyed this quirky novel despite Tiffany’s stalker behaviour and Pat’s father’s childish way of treating his family and his anger management issues.

In short, I was content and pleased with the ending. His wife may have moved on but in the end, he still got his silver lining and closure to his manic episode.

2 Comments Add yours

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