Book Reviews

Book Review: The Silver Linings Play Book by Matthew Quick


The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Publication Date: April 27th, 2010

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

Genre(s): Contemporary, Adult, Romance

Series Status: Stand alone

Pages: 289

Format and Source: Paperback, Owned

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Meet Pat Peoples. Pat Peoples has a theory that his life is actually a movie produced by God, and that his God-given mission in life is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending – which, for Pat, means the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as any surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.)

The problem is, Pat’s home now, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; his old friends are saddled with families; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, Kenny G keeps haunting him!

The Silver Linings Playbook is the riotous and poignant story of how one man regains his memory and comes to terms with his wife’s betrayal. Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat’s mind, deftly showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective. The result is a touching and funny novel that helps us look at both depression and love in a wonderfully refreshing way.

This book reminded me of The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime by Mark Haddon as it was written in a similar way where you could clearly see how Pat’s mind works, and also see how illogical it was and how clear his mental issues were. It also showed he was very naive and childlike, which I think did work well considering how he believed in something as improbable as getting back together with his wife. Though I do think that maybe he was written as slightly too naive, but I can see why he would be as, for most of the book, he didn’t know how he ended up in the mental health facility as he blocked it out.

There was a particular paragraph within this book which I did connect to. It goes like this…

I feel as though Dr Timber was right about me – that I don’t belong in the real world, because I am uncontrollable and dangerous. But of course I do not say this to Jake, mostly because he has never been locked up and doesn’t understand what it feels like to lose control… and he is not trying to improve his life at all, because he doesn’t ever feel the war that goes on in my chest every single fucking day – the chemical explosions that light up my skull like the Fourth of July and the awful needs and impulses…

Whilst I have never been locked up in a mental health facility, I do understand the feeling of a chemical war happening inside of your body, and losing control of yourself and you don’t understand why. When there is no logic or reason to your actions, you just follow your impulses, but, when you do, afterwards, when there is a cease fire in your head, you realise you shouldn’t have done that, but you can’t take it back now.

I think this is why I like this book so much. Yes, there is not much romance, which I know disappoints a lot of people. And yes, you do get slightly irritated by Pats never ending, delusional optimism. But it is written in such an honest and relate able way that I can’t help but love this book. The only reason it doesn’t have five stars is that there is too much American football in it for me.

Overall I definitely recommend this book, especially for anyone who enjoys reading about entirely new perspectives on life, and doesn’t care too much about romance.

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