- Release Date: October 16th 2012
- Audiobook Hours: 7 hours 22 minutes
- Genre: Adult Fiction
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
I have this thing where I tend to read popular fiction waaaaay behind the curve. I read The Fault in Our Stars 3 years after I bought it, Gone Girl is still on my TBR and I bought 50 Shades two years ago and I will get past the first 50 pages at some point.
If you think back to late 2012 it was all about Silver Linings Playbook because the movie was super buzzy. So buzzy they have the actor’s names on the movie tie-in cover. When I saw this as one of the audiobooks available on Scribd’s audiobook section I figured it was time
The story opens up with Pat Peoples, a man in his 30’s being taken out of what he refers to as “The Bad Place”, a mental hospital in Maryland. It becomes obvious early on that Pat’s first-person narration is completely unreliable. Not only is Pat missing three years, but he is also obsessed with physical fitness and winning back his estranged wife Nikki, who no one else seems to want to talk about.
The first part of the book follows Pat as he tries to assimilate into life back home with his parents. It’s not easy with his distant father, whose emotions are controlled by whether or not The Philadelphia Eagles win a game or his well off brother he can’t relate to anymore and Tiffany, the depressed sister-in-law of his best friend who seems to have taken an interest in him.
I really haven’t read a lot of these quasi-literary popular adult fiction books to really know how to review this. At first, this book really captured me, I was trying to see around Pat’s narration to figure out the mystery of what happened to Nikki, why Pat was in the mental hospital and why Kenny G makes him so angry. But towards the end it felt like it was dragging out way too long to get to what “really happened.”
As a non-football person, I found the Eagles and football stuff pretty fascinating. Pat immediately takes a liking to Eagles player Hank Baskett. Pat wears his jersey all the time and talks about him a lot—I wonder if it’s weird for the real Hank Baskett to see himself as a big part of this book.
The narrator of the audiobook, Ray Porter, did a solid job, he made Pat’s narration sound kind of childlike which fits how the character was treated. He also does a good range of female voices for Pat’s mom, Tiffany and a few other female characters. I like it when male narrators just lower their pitch and don’t try and do high feminine voices. The audiobook also does pretty well for the Eagles stuff because he does the chants, but I don’t know if the tone of the Fly, Eagles, Fly song was right.
The film version of this is on Netflix and I plan to watch it just to see how they interpret Pat’s unreliable narrator-ness into the movie( update: saw the movie, they took it out). Also, the character of Tiffany in the book is in her late 30’s early 40’s and has a very specific back story, I’m curious how they translated her character into a 21 year old Jennifer Lawrence. Tiffany was kind of a quirky character without getting into Manic Pixie Dreamgirl territory and since this part got JLaw an Oscar I’m sure it’s a great performance.
This is one of the first popular fiction titles I’ve read where I can’t pinpoint why it is so popular. Silver Linings Playbooks it has some interesting moments, it’s not exactly the feel good story of the year.
Overall I enjoyed this book enough that I think I will definitely check out Matthew Quick’s YA titles.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.