Why Did I Read This Book:
I was curious about The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick mainly because of the movie coming out — I love Jennifer Lawrence and will pretty much see anything with her in it. Also, one of my interns said it was both a great book and a great movie – and you guys, I try pretty hard to read things that I am recommended in real life. I was also in dire need of a break from young adult books, which I love dearly but just need some space time to time.
What’s The Story Here:
Pat Peoples is finally out of the bad place – a mental ward- and living with his parents in New Jersey. He is patiently waiting for away time from his wife Nikki to end. Pat spends his days bulking up, because Nikki likes strong men. He also sees a therapist named Cliff. Anyways, one day he is out for a run and sees his old friend Ronnie. Ronnie invites Pat to dinner with him and his wife, Veronica. At the dinner, which is fancy, Veronica’s widowed sister Tiffany is there. Pat and Tiffany do not immediately hit it off. Philadelphia Eagles football games, dance competitions and family issues weave together in The Silver Linings Playbook to create a story essentially of hope and new beginnings.
What Did I Think Of Pat Peoples:
The thing about The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick is that it is narrated by one of those unreliable narrators. The entire book is first person and we only get Pat’s perspective. We start out only knowing that he went to a mental ward for doing something bad, but have no idea what that thing is, because Pat won’t tell us. Frankly, it took me a bit to warm up to Pat, but once I got over his quirks, I thought he was a character worthy of compassion. We see how he’s changed from being a bit of a jerk to being someone who genuinely cares about other people — especially during a scene that takes place while tailgating at the Philadelphia Eagles game. I also really LOVED his interactions with Tiffany, even the quiet ones where they just run and don’t talk. There’s definitely some trust building that happens between Tiffany and Pat over a LOT of time, but it seems natural the way that it plays out. Also, I love that even though Pat had a mental break, he wasn’t portrayed as a bad person or as someone who is in any way deficient.
How Is The Writing:
I found that Quick used a lot of repetition and I think they are called motifs in his writing. Like, there’s this cheer that they kept doing over and over and over that starts with AHHHHH and then goes E-A-G-L-E-S. And they spell the letters with their bodies. That’s repeated a lot, which is fine. There’s also a lot of football, but more the experience of loving a sport than the actual game itself. I also liked the way that Quick is able to capture a scene and actually make me feel emotions during the scene. For example, there’s another tailgating scene that involves a giant bus called the Asian Invasion, kebabs and games – it’s sort of heartwarming and awesome and just gave me hope. I know, that’s bizarre to say, BUT you have to read it to understand.
Let’s Talk About The Narration:
As you know, I listened to The Silver Linings Playbook and it honestly was a great listen for the most part, except the AHHH E-A-G-L-E-S cheer grated on my ears after a while. This audiobook is narrated by Ray Porter. I thought he really embodied Pat Peoples and definitely got into it with the cheering. I wasn’t a huge fan of his female voices, it just sounded kind of awkward, BUT I got over it, ya know? I just thought he was the perfect voice for Pat’s thoughts and storytelling. Plus he sounds like someone from New Jersey. The audiobook is a fast listen, it’s only 7 hours and 22 minutes long. It is produced by Blackstone Audio, which is a publisher I don’t have much experience listening to. Either way, I really liked this audiobook and thought The Silver Linings Playbook provided a nice break from YA.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
Two thumbs way up, y’all, for surprising me and for some superb writing.
Disclosure: I purchased my own copy.
Other reviews of The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick:
My Friend Amy – “one of those books that manages to be comedic and light hearted without ever being false”
Book Goonie – “The narrator, Ray Porter, made this book for me”
Ex Libris – “I was surprised by how poignant and funny this book was.”