Silver Linings Playbook
Official Stuff –
Author – Matthew Quick
Pages – 289
Publisher – Sarah Crichton Books
Meet Pat Peoples. 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 him a happy ending—the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years 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 haunted by Kenny G!
My Rating – 3 ¾ Stars
Pat has just been released from a mental institution, a place her refers to as the “bad place”. He comes home to live with his parents and hopes to be reunited with his estranged wife, Nikki. He refers to their separation as “apart time” and tries to better himself by working out constantly, to the point of near exhaustion/dehydration, be more literary, and to just generally be a nicer person. He is extremely optimistic and looks for the silver lining in everything.
But no one will talk about Nikki, and no one well tell him how long he was actually in the institution, his dad is a dick and friends and family kind of talk to him like he’s a child. He meets Tiffany through a friend and she starts following him during his daily runs and eventually cons him into a dance recital.
Although it is a good, entertaining book and I did enjoy it, I have a few issues. His dad for instance is a violent a-hole who smashes a TV because the Eagles lost a game. Who does that? He barely speaks to Pat and he’s a jerk to Pat’s mom. His brother, Jake abandoned him during his stay in the institution, and his friends talk to him like he’s a child. Though I did kind of like his therapist, Cliff, when the Eagles hit a losing streak, Cliff, Jake, and Pat’s father all blame Pat, saying he cursed the team by stop watching the games. Who blames a mentally unstable person for a football team’s losing streak?
Also, Pat speaks like a child. I understand that he’s mentally unhealthy but before he was in the institution he was a college graduate, a history teacher and a coach, and owned his own home. But I find it hard to believe that a 34 year old man, unless there was brain damage, would call a separation from his wife “apart time.” It just didn’t click for me. Without spoiling, he did suffer a traumatic event but honestly I don’t know many guys that wouldn’t have done what he did after what he walked in on. Maybe not to that extreme but some kind of violent reaction, I’m sure. So I guess it just didn’t connect in my head on why a guy, who definitely got his violent tendencies from his father, would regress to such childlike behavior unless it was because of the meds? It’s possible I’m being unfair because I am not a mental health professional but mental health issues due run in my family and after spending much of my life around people with various issues, the childlike regression just wasn’t believable to me.
I did like Tiffany and her bluntness though I thought the dance recital thing was a little ridiculous. Her trickery was totally underhanded and cruel but inline with her character, so I actually understood it a bit. Her and Pat’s relationship is definitely strange and there isn’t a clear happy ending but it does give hope that maybe they will be able to help each other.
It was a good book, and a quick fun read, so if that’s what’s you are looking for then I suggest this book!