I got Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick for my birthday from my parents after requesting it. I have wanted to read it since first hearing that it was going to be a movie, a movie that one of my favourite actress’ Jennifer Lawrence had a lead in. I have since heard that the book is barely like the movie but still, I wanted to read it first. I have a thing where I have to read the book before I watch the movie because I genuinely enjoy my imaginations interpretation of the book. I have to say, I did enjoy the book a lot, for the most part anyway!
I’d like to start with the negatives, not usually something I do but I want to get them out the way before I move onto the good. The negatives are actually more of a personal niggle anyway. There is a part in the book where Pat is writing letters to his estranged wife and to be honest, these letters made me feel very uncomfortable but what I will say is I think this is because they reminded me too much of my personal situation. My ex wrote similar emails after our break up, filled with “remember this” and “wasn’t it great when” which is very similar to the way Pat worded things. Please don’t let this put you off. The other thing was the over load of American Football. Again, more of a personal annoyance but I felt that it often delayed the plot.
Okay, now that’s out the way, I’ll say the rest of the book was really good. I read it pretty fast (for a busy single mum anyway!) I did enjoy the prose, it was well written and I enjoyed the narrative voice. It reminded me a lot of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon (another great book). I did struggle with whether or not the way Pat & Tiffany’s actions and reactions were believable but this didn’t make it any less enjoyable. In the beginning Pat reminded me of myself with his view on life being like a film. On the especially tough days I cling to this theory.. that all heroines must go through the tough to have a happy ending (pathetic, huh?) I really like how bits of Pat’s past slowly showed themselves through his interaction with other characters and I love Tiffany’s bluntness. To be honest, I loved the majority of the characters, there wasn’t a bad one in the bunch.
The main twist in the book was sort of expected (I had it down to two outcomes) but it doesn’t take anything away from the book it still left me feeling happy and the majority of the loose ends were tied up enough to make me feel satisfied. It was an enjoyable short read.
My favourite quote is:
“Life is hard, and children have to be told how hard life can be…So they will be sympathetic to others. So they will understand that some people have it harder than they do and that a trip through this world can be a wildly different experience, depending on what chemicals are raging through one’s mind.“
It definitely explains my outlook on life well and I think it’s a nice way to look at literature (especially the particular novels highlighted in the book).
Overall, it was a nicely constructed, quick read. It would be excellent to stuff in your suitcase to take on holiday. Despite the subject matter of depression and mental illness I didn’t find it hard to swallow, in fact it was a nice take on the difficult subject choice. And although I’ve read better this year, I’d definitely recommend it.