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The Silver Linings Playbook [Paperback]

Matthew Quick
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (512 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jan 2009

Pat Peoples has a theory. The theory is this: his life is actually a movie produced by God. And Pat’s God-given mission in life is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure the movie is a romcom, complete with happy ending – which, for Pat, means the return of his estranged wife Nikki, from whom he's currently having some 'apart time.' It might not come as any surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental-health facility.

When Pat leaves hospital and goes to live with his parents, however, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki; his old friends now have families; his beloved football team keep losing; his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy. And he's being haunted by Kenny G.

There is a silver lining, however, in the form of tragically widowed, physically fit, and clinically depressed Tiffany, who offers to act as a go-between for Pat and his wife. If only Pat will give up watching football, agree to perform in this year’s Dance Away Depression competition, and promise not to tell anyone about their ‘contract'. Easy, really . . .

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (2 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330479776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330479776
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (512 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,036,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A delightful debut... laugh-out-loud... a smart, touching, quirky read.'
-- Scotland on Sunday

'An off-kilter charm... Pat attempts to turn his life around and create his own happy ever after. Touchingly sweet.' -- The Daily Mail


'A delightful debut... laugh-out-loud... a smart, touching, quirky read.'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming, amusing, painful and unforgettable 16 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I first started reading this book, I didn't quite know what to make of it, particularly the narrator, Pat - I found myself getting slightly irritated with him. But his sweetness and innocence grew on me, and I realised after the first chapter that I was turning the pages with my fingers crossed for him.

The story begins with Pat leaving a mental institution and trying to return to normal life, into a family which has been devastated by his incarceration. He is desperate, with a childish simplicity by turns endearing and exasperating, to get back with his ex wife, Nikki and his whole life focuses on this. But why did they really split up? And where did Pat's mental problems begin? What is the real problem with Tiffany, his new friend with her own mental and emotional difficulties?

This book is easy to read: it's very simply written, yet the matters it deals with are complex. At times I was laughing out loud, at others I had tears in my eyes. The author takes away the stigma of mental illness and you warm to his characters. While Pat is the narrator, his friends and family have their own smaller story to tell about what happened and how it has affected them. You come away from the book feeling slightly better for having known them, and for those with limited experience, perhaps a little more perception of mental illness. I look forward to reading another by this perceptive and gentle author.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...possibly the best book I've read this year. 1 Nov 2008
By marcoscu TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Pat Peoples is just out of `the Bad Place' - an institution where he's been for the past four years after a massive breakdown. He believes his life is a movie written and directed by God. He has a terror of Kenny G who haunts him in the night. He's lost his life and his home, and only lives to build the perfect body so he can win back his beloved wife, Nikki.

Pat is so angsty and damaged and utterly adorable. He knows he `screwed up' before with his rages and selfish demands. Now he only wants to 'practice kindness' as he moves through his small world, making friends wherever he goes - with his mom and his football-crazy brothers, with his analyst Cliff and his friends, the equally football-crazy, all-Indian, Asian Invasion Bus. Even with his sister-in-law, the deranged Tiffany, who, it seems, everyone thinks would be the perfect partner for him.

Hilariously funny, touching, delightful and heart-breaking, and possibly the best book I've read this year.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. 9 Nov 2008
By Arheddis Varkenjaab TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really enjoyed this book. Although it's fairly apparent what the plot is going to be pretty much from the first page, it's written in such an engaging style with such likable and believable characters you get drawn in to the story.

The story follows the recovery of Pat, who is suffering from mental health problems following the breakdown of his marriage. The breakdown has transformed Pat, and despite his problems (including a perfectly understandable aversion to singer Kenny G) he is recovering. The story contrasts the slightly immoral personalities of the 'sane' people in his life with the higher physical and mental standards Pat now feels he has to attain and maintain in order to win back his wife. That makes it sound rather worthy and heavy going, but it's a very funny book and light and easy reading while at the same time managing to ask that old question 'what does sanity actually mean?'

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Preferred the film, something I rarely say 17 Jan 2013
By R. A. Davison TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I went to see the film adaptation of this novel last month, absolutely loved it and then the friend I went with went on to buy me the book.

The book and the film are very similar, protagonist Pat has been in a psychiatric facility for some time when his mother calls time on it and checks him out. Post-breakdown Pat has a new philosophy : he is determined to look for silver linings and happy endings and he's going to turn himself into the perfect husband to his wife Nikki. The thing is, Nikki is nowhere to be seen, there's more than one restraining order in place, and what exactly happened to send Pat to "the bad place" is never spoken of. Living not quite in-step with reality, Pat strikes up a friendship with the equally damaged Tiffany.

The film of this book made me howl with laughter and was really popular with the audience I was in, and the film has been true to the book in the sense that it recreates some of the books best moments like "the Hemingway scene". This is however among some of the rare cases where film beats book, the book gets dragged down by the sporting side of the narrative, players and scores etc, in a way that the film doesn't, and is so well acted that it is easier to take the characters into your heart.

The differences towards the end give the book the edge in terms of realism, and particularly Pat's struggle with the concept of time is left out of the film presumably because it would be hard to express visually, but adds weight to the extent of his delusion in the book yet ultimately for me the heartwarming humorous film is a 10/10 but the book is only a 7.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should believe in silver linings ... 26 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I could not put this book down!

Pat is struggling with mental health issues. He has just left hospital and is trying to get his life sorted. He is estranged from his wife Nikki and all that spurs him on is the belief that his life is like a movie. Pat believes in silver linings. He is working hard to improve himself so that he will be rewarded by the return of his wife so that they can live out their happy ending.

This is an extremely well written book. Quick has captured Pat's struggle with mental disorder in the text and the reader can't help but feels his pain and root for him throughout. It is a very well thought out story with excellent characters and a great plot. I really can't think of a single fault, except perhaps that I would love to know what happens next!

Very highly recommended!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
it was good but drags a bit part way through.
Published 2 days ago by norah
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
it was an unusual subject
Published 9 days ago by Frank Pearson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant. Touching and funny. Worth a read.
Published 10 days ago by Colin
4.0 out of 5 stars so much better than the film
I rooted for the characters the whole way, so much better than the film!
Published 12 days ago by charlotte
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
An honest and sensitive representation of mental illness without being too heavy and depressing yet still incredibly emotional. A must read.
Published 13 days ago by ThePurpleOrange
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Even better than the movie.
Published 17 days ago by Chris Booth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good reading. Easy to digest.
Published 24 days ago by Magdalena
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Really not w ha t I was expecting and haven't seen the film but really enjoyed this book. I had thought it was going to be a typical chick lit book but loved the characters and the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rainmac
4.0 out of 5 stars Warmth and tenderness about mental illness, family dysfunction,...
If you have no interest in the latter, you may still appreciate this book, despite perhaps learning much more about the Eagles than you never wanted to know anyway! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lady Fancifull
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful.
I read this having heard good reviews of the film (I hadn't seen it at the time - I have since seen it and prefer the book). Read more
Published 1 month ago by kindler
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