Book Review: Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick


The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Publisher: Picador
Number of Pages: 289
My Copy: Paperback

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!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.

Almost all my friends know how much of a film buff I am so restraining myself from watching the movie version of this book while everyone else is talking about it (I work in a crazy, noisy and full of spoiler newsroom, so just imagine) is really difficult.

I promised myself years back after I read Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember that whenever a movie is lifted from a book, I will read the book first because sometimes even though the adaptation is great, the book will turn out even better (like A Walk to Remember). But I've forgotten this because I've watched Hunger Games without even reading any part of the book. So, now in this new Jennifer Lawrence movie, I vowed to not watch it before I crack my book open. Imagine how hard it is for me, my favorite actors played Pat Sr., Veronica, Danny and Pat but I really tried my very best to stop and contain myself. So, there.

Silver lining. I first heard this term in grade school, when a Christian Living book that tackles Catholicism and quotes phrases and teachings from the Cathecism of the Catholic Church featured a story about hope, that there is always a 'silver lining'. I believed it since. 

I read this book with a Book Pal, Danielle Feudale from Pennsylvania, an online friend I met thru GoodReads. We actually chose this book for our buddy read for the Month of March - April but we both just finished the book in less than a week. Yes, I met another voracious reader alright.

There are many things to like about this novel. But let me just say that I really like this novel because I can relate to it. Not that I don't have a sound mind or so, but back when I was in high school, I've always considered myself as someone with bipolar tendencies because I really am rash and impulsive. I learned while reading/watching Pat's mini movie and Tifanny's as well, that I may be mentally stable but I really used to be depressed and I know some people who experience such as well.

The best part for me would be his (and this is something you really must relish) movie montage and the dance which really made me listen to the song thrice just to feel how emotional that song can be (Listen to the song. Go and reach for your iPod and listen to the song. NOW!) and I suddenly felt what they might have felt whilst dancing to it.

By and large, if there's one thing I learned from Pat, that sometimes, it really is better to be kind than to be right.

Sometimes, it really pays to value human relationships than the laws of the land. (Well, for me - My lawyer and soon-to-be lawyer friends might argue and most of them are debaters so allow me to stop right here. I don't want to be self-incriminated. Harhar.)

And yeah.. F*ck Nikki.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Favorite Quotes:

“I don't want to stay in the bad place, where no one believes in silver linings or love or happy endings.” 

“Life is not a PG feel-good movie. Real life often ends badly. Literature tries to document this reality, while showing us it is still possible for us to endure nobly.” 

“Life is random and fucked-up and arbitrary, until you find someone who can make sense of it all for you— if only temporarily.” 

“Let me tell ya. You gotta pay attention to signs. When life reaches out with a moment like this it's a sin if you don't reach back... I'm telling you.” 

“And I still love you in my own fucked-up way. I miss you, I really do. Can we still be friends?” 



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