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The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Monday, October 8, 2012

I walked into Waterstones the other day and noticed The Silver Linings Playbook on promotion. I  had been hearing (and reading) good things about the film adaptation ever since TIFF, so I decided to give it a go and WOW. I think it is my favourite read of this year. 

The story is told from the point of view of Pat who has just been released from 'the bad place' and is desperate for 'apart time' to be over between him and his wife. Over the course of the novel we journey with Pat as he comes to term with some home truths about his wife, his friends and family, and Hank Baskett. Amidst all of this, Pat befriends Tiffany, who was also in her own version of 'the bad place'. 

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not terribly profound or life-changing. It's not 'literary'. However, the genuineness of all the characters was so overwhelmingly palpable that I was charmed. The book was definitely alive- for me, at least. The story was simple, which is always the case in these kinds of novel, but there was a pureness that shone through as the characters confronted their personal demons and the mistakes they had made in the past. There was an innocence cocooned inside what is quite a dark subject. Also, Pat's voice made a nice change from the wise-cracking, cynical, man-about-town types that are so frequent these days. 

I am now more excited than before to see the film. Even though I had watched the trailer prior to reading the book, it didn't stop me from picturing the characters. For Pat, I heard (rather than saw) Zachary Quinto's voice and for Tiffany I pictured Olivia Wilde. However, I like the pairing of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper and I think Robert DeNiro is going to be a perfect version of Pat Sr. I also can't wait for all of the football scenes. I've been tempted to look up the Eagles chant but might just hold out for the film. There's a lot of awards buzz surrounding this film already and if it ends up anything like the book then I can already say it is throughly deserving of any accolade bestowed upon it. 

So, I urge you to go out and buy your copy of The Silver Linings Playbook and get reading before the film! 

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