The Silver Linings Playbook

  • by Matthew Quick
  • Narrated by Ray Porter
  • 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

During his years in a neural-health facility, Pat Peoples has formulated a theory about silver linings. He believes that his life is a movie produced by God, that his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and that if he succeeds, his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki.When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki, and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy. Then, Pat meets clinically depressed widow Tiffany, who offers to act as a liaison between him and his wife - provided he agrees to a secret contract that includes giving up football and performing in the next Dance Away Depression competition.

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What the Critics Say

"This offbeat story has all the markings of a crowd-pleaser." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

'Rosie Project' For Basket Cases

At first, for about the first few hours, this was a great listen--not just good, but GREAT. I was driving to work every day smiling, laughing out loud in traffic, thinking how great it was that I'd discovered a true comedic page-turner. This was as good as 'The Rosie Project,' I thought, and it did for mental patients/basket cases what 'Rosie' did for Aspies. I was getting ready to recommend the book to everyone, mentally preparing to order multiple copies to give away as gifts to friends and family.

By hour four or five, though, I was beginning to feel differently. For one thing, I'm a big fan of the movie with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, and in almost every respect--characterization, plot, dialogue, pacing--the screenplay for the film beats the book, hands down. The movie is not boring for a minute, but by the end of this book I'd been mostly bored for well over an hour. Characters were lacking; for example, the character of the father, played to such entertaining effect by Robert DeNiro in the cracklingly lively film, is deathly dull in the book, as evidenced by his never speaking. The book is also repetitive; in one section, the part where Pat and Tiffany are in training for the dance competition, the SAME EXACT PARAGRAPH actually gets repeated four or five whole different times. The first time, I thought it was a glitch in the recording. By the third time, I had caught on: it was a stylistic choice on the part of the author. (An unfortunate one.)

But overall, I would still recommend the book--especially for anyone who is unfamiliar with the film and who likely won't have a chance to see the film. The narrator, the great Ray Porter (of Peter Clines' 14 and Oregon Shakespeare Festival fame) is terrific as always.

Grade: B.
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- Gretchen SLP

Heartbreaking Brilliance

Quick has managed to capture the essence of something terribly fundamental to at least a portion of humanity; dysfunctional love mixed with mental illness and obsession. To get a bias out of the way immediately, I was born and raised within a half hour of the location of this book; the addresses in Philadelphia mean something to me and I can still smell South Philadelphia when I close my eyes at night, thinking about my home. Quick captures Eagles fever, the feel of Philadelphia, and its suburbs magnificently.

Another thing to address, right out the gate, is the comparison between the book and the movie. I really dug the movie. I thought Lawrence and Cooper did tremendous jobs. I also understand why the film was scripted the way it was. That being said, as is the case in many instances, the book allows a level of nuance that 2 hours of screen time just can't capture. I think you have to view the movie as the Cliff's Notes to the book. Significant plot changes occurred and, quite frankly, the movie was very watered down.

This was a difficult listen, emotionally, for me. Mental illness is addressed, at length, as the primary vehicle plot. And it does a spectacular job of it. But Quick's book is so much more than that. It's family dysfunction countered by standing up for the people you love. It's desperately, frantically, obsessively yearning for happiness (in a fairy tale kind of way), but accepting a more reality based version. It's a journey of self discovery and taking charge of your own life's story, of finding love and forgiveness in unexpected places.

Quick also managed to capture the feeling of desperately trying to 'fix' some past failure or disaster in one's life. Feeling like there is a crushing weight pressing in on all sides while consistently stumbling. The best laid plans...

In the end, it was a beautiful and delicate listen, even if difficult at times. Highest marks and significantly better than the film.
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- Charlie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-09-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.