Michael's Reviews > The Silver Linings Playbook

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
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did not like it
bookshelves: contemporary, romance, 2000s

Pat Peoples is a former history teacher who moves back home after spending some time in a neurology hospital. He has a theory that every life is like a movie and he is just waiting for his silver lining ending, the successful reunion with his wife Nikki. Pat spends his time on self improvement, determined this will help end ‘apart time’, he exercises excessively and reads great American literature. He meets Tiffany and soon becomes friends because of their similarities; physically fit and clinically depressed.

While this started off reminding me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I soon got really bored with this book. Not only was the novel predictable, it was clichéd and failed to hold my interest at all. The narrative felt really dumbed down, like it was trying more to be a YA novel; actually this might be a good example of New Adult fiction. But this really annoyed me, just because someone is clinically depressed, an exercise junky, football fan or any of the other reasons doesn’t mean they are not intelligent. So the narrative felt more like the author making fun of the protagonist and I really had a problem with that.

There are so many great American novels and when Pat sets out to read the entire syllabus of his wife’s class to improve himself you can’t help but be proud of him. The Bell Jar, The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises are all great books but they don’t really fit into Pat’s philosophy on life. I love the way he reacts to The Sun Also Rises in the movie trailer, it was done so much better than in the book, that rage for the ending was brilliant. I know Pat wants a silver lining in every story, so I found it really amusing to think he would read those books that don’t fit his personal philosophy.

Personally I did want to explore more of the depression side of this novel because I felt there were some very interesting elements explored but instead the author was more interested in a clichéd romance. There were two love stories going on here, the generic one between Pat and Tiffany, and then there was the love of Philadelphia Eagles. Personally the Eagles story arc was more interesting because the Pat and Tiffany relationship was painful to read.

I’m not a fan of clichés and reading about Pat and Tiffany become a real problem with me; I knew what was going to happen, I can see it coming from the start but it wasn’t executed properly. Almost like the author was running out of pages and he had to quickly resolve and conflict and have a happy ending before the end of the book. The conflict resolution was done too quickly; you can’t really go from hating a person to changing your mind and kissing a person that quick, it just doesn’t work.

There are small elements of this book that I enjoyed but the overall novel wasn’t worth it. I will say one thing about this book; it will make a great movie. I’ve not seen the adaptation yet but I have a feeling it would work really well in that format, as people just love a happy ending and these types of romance movies. Personally I think the book isn’t work reading and maybe the movie is a quicker way to experience this story.

This review orginally appeared on my blog; http://literary-exploration.com/2013/...
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Reading Progress

January 9, 2013 – Shelved
January 20, 2013 – Started Reading
January 20, 2013 – Shelved as: contemporary
January 20, 2013 – Shelved as: romance
January 20, 2013 –
page 65
January 20, 2013 –
page 214
January 21, 2013 – Finished Reading
March 8, 2013 – Shelved as: 2000s

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 1: by Melki (new)

Melki Are you going to see the movie, or was reading the book enough?

Michael I will see the movie, but only because my wife wants to see it

message 3: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King A good critical review Michael.

Your wife is obviously a lucky person - well movie-wise anyway.

Michael I don't know if she agrees ;P

message 5: by Toby (new)

Toby 1*!!! Go Michael Go!

Michael Haha I couldn't get any lower

message 7: by Toby (new)

Toby You even liked bits of it.

I think you probably made a wise statement in calling this a YA novel. Whenever I found it on the shelf of the secondhand book shop I thought it was YA but was always told to put it back in adult after moving it.

Are you prepared for the trolling to begin?

Michael Bring it on

message 9: by Toby (new)

Toby Trolls...start your engines...

Michael...prepare your pads and bats...

Good luck

Henri Moreaux The book sounds a bit average. I've seen the movie though and it was fantastic, was going to get the book also but there seems to be quite a few negative reviews on it.

Michael I wouldn't waste my time with it. But I read it before seeing the movie :(

message 12: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Shaffer Interesting...I saw the film and thought it skirted the mental illness issue and went for cliche, and hoped the book was different...guess not...

message 13: by Michael (last edited Mar 20, 2013 07:20PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Michael I think the book is a lot worse. Makes you want to throw the book through a window

Hanna "[J]ust because someone is clinically depressed, an exercise junky, football fan or any of the other reasons doesn’t mean they are not intelligent." Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for writing that. I was beginning to worry I was the only person thinking that if you want to turn a history teacher into Forrest Gump overnight, you should at least make a half-hearted attempt at explaining his loss of intelligence. Or the contrast between the dumb narration and the things he actually says, which are always apt and studied...

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