“The Silver Linings Playbook” by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook
The Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quick has been on my shelf for years, a gift from my Eagles-fanatic stepfather-in-law to my Eagles-fanatic husband when it was released, and pulled off the shelf by me because it’s currently playing on the big screen.

Quick’s novel is eminently readable, an entry in the emotionally-stunted-young-man-stumbles-toward-some-kind-of-understanding genre. In this it strongly reminded me of Jonathan Tropper’s This is Where I Leave You.

Pat is a guy in his 30’s, just released from a mental institution, and he’s pining for his wife Nikki, that everyone else, including the reader knows, is his ex-wife. He’s got an emotionally stunted dad whose moods are dependent on whether the Eagles win or lose. (I’m married to an Eagles fan, so I really appreciated the ethnography of this particular subculture as I recognized many aspects.) Pat thinks life plays out like a movie, where every bad thing always has a silver lining, so much of the book reads like the film it’s been “adapted” into, rife with coincidence, but still has some surprises. Alas, one of the reveals near the end about Tiffany, the emotionally damaged woman Pat has befriends, continues to nag at me. Two aspects of it read like really creepy male-fantasy masquerading as characterization, and this left it ending on a sour note for me.

2 Responses to ““The Silver Linings Playbook” by Matthew Quick”

  1. MFS Says:

    Read this between and during a number of appointments today. It’s really a good book — sad and sweet but not too much of either. And the good people in Pat’s life are just so likable.

  2. girldetective Says:

    M, I loved it till the very end, and the reveal about how and why Tiffany’s husband died just bugged me. The shopping trip the husband did right after their conversation struck me as grossly insensitive.

    Before that, though, I was tearing through it and really enjoying it, and I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. I agree that all the people around Pat (except perhaps for his dad) were winning. I really felt for his mom.

    And in one of those synchronicity moments you write about, I’m reading Victor LaValle’s Devil in Silver. It’s set in a mental ward, the main character loses time, and there’s a scene where he shares a cereal box with a love interest.