Review: The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick

Wow, I finished reading this book all in one go, checked out the clock and wondered where the time went ... Yikes! I guess I had a hard time getting out of Pat's crazy, emotional, fucked up world.

 

Gotta say I loved it. For me, not an easy, fun and light hearted read as some reviewers have stated .... but an emotional and blackly comic journey as Pat searches for himself and the truth. Very touching.

The theme of silver linings, the Holden Caulfield-esque narration and tone and the very likeable and relatable cast of characters really spoke to me.

 

I guess I felt able to put myself in Pat's position: his bloody minded determination to refuse to accept the reality that is all around him (for example that Nikki is never returning, that the Vet Stadium was demolished, that he had spent so long being held in the Neural Facility to name a few) is a trait that many of us possess to varying degrees. Yes, we're not all crazy like Pat, cry at the drop of a hat and pursue ideas and activities until they are done to death, but we tell ourselves lies everyday ... "Oh it'll be fine" "I'll do it later" "one more cupcake won't make a difference" .... I suppose the difference is that some delusions are just bigger than others.

 

For this reason I found it a very absorbing read, I was right there with Pat as he was exercising, struggling to deal with the other character's issues, flipping out, then exercising some more.

 

I simply adored Cliff, Jake and Pat's mother, couldn't stand Pat's father and swung from loving Tiffany to hating her, and back to loving her again. Each one brilliantly developed and very believable.

 

The reason I gave the book four stars rather than five was the football talk! I get why it is there .... Football is something that Pat uses to connect to his father and brother, he uses it as a means of escape too, he truly becomes Baskett when he puts that jersey on and, for a while at least, he can leave behind his messed up life and get lost in the game and feel like part of something again as everyone cheers for the same cause and in his mind, cheers for him too. It's also his link to the past, to a happier time before everything turned to crap. I get it. But the descriptions of the actual games grated on me, I'm not a football person and I live in the UK where football is played with a black and white ball and two nets (it's goals, not touchdowns) .... I don't even understand the rules of American Football so unfortunately those parts were kinda lost on me .....

 

But hey-ho! All in all a great story with a lot of interesting ideas, even if I did just loose a day somewhere in the process of reading it ....

 

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