The Silver Linings Playbook Paperback – 1 Jan 2010
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`Once hooked this sensitive tale is very haunting.'
'This bittersweet debut comedy has caught the imagination of thousands of readers and some film executives. Expect to hear more about this writer.'
'A delightful debut... laugh-out-loud... a smart, touching, quirky read.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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?'
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.
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.
Written in the first person (a diary, we are later told) Pat Peoples tells us his story in a functional, unfussy, straight-faced voice that manages to ironically reveal the underlying truths of his states of mind. There is a naively adolescent simplicity to Pat's writing in that he treats himself and his quest to end "apart time" with his estranged wife with deadly, focused seriousness.
An ex-high school teacher in his 30's who was committed to a mental institution for an unspecified period of time, Pat begins the novel returning to the home of his parents to live in their basement. His intention is to develop himself both physically and mentally in preparation for the end of his separation with his wife Nikki. This he does by exercising obsessively and reading various classics of American literature (THE GREAT GATSBY, THE SCARLET LETTER, THE BELL JAR etc). His muscular development is clearly extraordinary as he goes for daily ten mile runs and has hours-long weight-lifting sessions. At one point someone compares him to Arnold Schwarzanegger.
Pat believes life is identical to Hollywood films. The lesson he's taken from them is that while life can appear hard and painful, if you work and believe hard enough in your goal the happy ending is inevitable. He finds himself challenged by the books he reads as they do not seem to share this idyllic position.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Started off intensely irritating, didn't really like any of the characters, but the latter half of the book definitely improved with some good imagery and story. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Mr. D. J. Harper
A really good read I couldn't put it down, I feel it's better than the film. Recommend that you give it a readPublished 1 month ago by Laura Bowater
I haven't seen the film but I have heard about the hype & the Oscars of course. I really enjoyed this book, I had no expectations but it was nice to get an unexpected &... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wonder
A thoroughly absorbing read and I really care about the main characters and wanted to know how things ended.Published 1 month ago by clikihip
I don't know what all the fuss was about with this book. I found the characters extremely annoying and totally unlikable from beginning to end, especially Pat and Tiffany who I... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Aunty Ali