The Silver Linings Playbook review

16 Feb

So in a marathon read that started the evening I brought the book, to the morning after I managed to start and finish reading The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. You could say I had a fling with it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I was very intrigued when I saw the movie trailer and even more interested when I knew there was a book. But I wish I hadn’t brought the book.

I can’t fault the style of prose, very engaging, very readable- and because it is first person you do get drawn in very easily. With these sorts of books I tend to get quite emotionally involved and my internal narrative does seem to change to mirror the book itself.


The problem I have in regards to buying the book made me wonder and kept me guessing until the very end, is that I don’t think I will ever pick it up again and even more: I didn’t fall in love with it. It shall probably remain on my bookshelf for a good long time now because I can’t bear to part with books, but will I read it again? Doubtful. I’m not even sure that I can urge you all to go out and read the book.The-Silver-Linings-Playbook

Let me try and explain.

The main protagonist is Pat Peoples, a 34-year-old guy who was married Nikki straight out of college and is now in a mental institution. We see the world through Pat’s eyes, and wonder why on earth he’s in there. We are treated to Pat’s internal dialogue where he believes that he’s working towards ending ‘apart time’ with his wife Nikki- because they agreed to have some time apart a.k.a a seperation.

The first chapter contains his release from what Pat calls the ‘bad place’ to go and live with his parents. We have a slightly overbearing, over nurturing mother and a weird cut off father; not to mention the fact that Pat has no idea that he’s been in the mental institution for a lot longer than he imagines and he doesn’t realise that things have changed.

Intriguing yes, because you find out these surprises with him, but even through the trials he faces, not remembering the circumstances of his enrolment in the ‘bad place’ and the fact that for a lot of time everyone seems to be lying to him, there is no emotional connection with him. There is nothing that makes me join the emotional journey with him. It may be different for someone else, but not for me.

Then we meet Tiffany, similarly mentally unstable, who becomes one of Pat’s best friends and confidant.  We see her try and change Pat’s own life while she tries to deal with her own problems, although we don’t see much of those unless she reveals them to Pat.

It’s hard to describe this book without giving anyway any significant detail and I don’t want to give you a page full of spoilers! (Even though we know Sarah loves a good spoiler!)

So we detail with approximately six months of Pat’s life, in which he goes to numerous Eagles games- I think that is American Football, though in places it sounds like it could be basketball or baseball. I’m sure it makes more sense to those more involved with American sporting culture than I am!

The repetitiveness of the football games and the fact that his father will only talk to Pat when the team have had a good game seems rather monotonous. We are never told why his father doesn’t talk to his son anymore, which is a bug unresolved issue in this book. I for one would like to know why Pat’s father doesn’t speak to his son, even if by the end of the book he still isn’t talking to his son, but we are informed of the issue there.

There is another small thing that bugs me, at the beginning of the novel we are informed that Pat could name any president of the United States and that he was a history teacher- this theme is inadequately carried out throughout the novel. If Pat has a love for history why don’t we see it more? I know he has issues, but I would have thought that given the fact that the author makes a point of mentioning these facts that they would have played a greater role in Pat’s rehabilitation and the story.

I am sure the prose is what makes this such an engaging book but I do not think much of the storyline. I would recommend reading this book but not to buy it unless you are absolutely certain you will read it again.

Rating: 2 out of 5

About the writer: Stef is a 21 year old graduate who has a lifelong obsession with books and reading who also loves music and live theatre. You’re most likely to find her in a book shop or out in London standing at a theatre stage door. She can be found on twitter and running The World of Blyton.


One Response to “The Silver Linings Playbook review”


  1. The Casual Vacancy review | yellow bunting - 27/02/2013

    […] wanted to borrow a copy to read before I commited it to my bookshelf. You can see by my last review The Silver Lining’s Playbook by Matthew Quick I regretted having brought the book when I had finished it, because it is not […]

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