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The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel Paperback – October 16, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pat Peoples, the endearing narrator of this touching and funny debut, is down on his luck. The former high school history teacher has just been released from a mental institution and placed in the care of his mother. Not one to be discouraged, Pat believes he has only been on the inside for a few months––rather than four years––and plans on reconciling with his estranged wife. Refusing to accept that their apart time is actually a permanent separation, Pat spends his days and nights feverishly trying to become the man she had always desired. Our hapless hero makes a friend in Tiffany, the mentally unstable, widowed sister-in-law of his best friend, Ronnie. Each day as Pat heads out for his 10-mile run, Tiffany silently trails him, refusing to be shaken off by the object of her affection. The odd pair try to navigate a timid friendship, but as Pat is unable to discern friend from foe and reality from deranged optimism, every day proves to be a cringe-worthy adventure. Pat is as sweet as a puppy, and his offbeat story has all the markings of a crowd-pleaser. (Sept.)
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"It's a charmingly nerve-wracking combination...The book is cinematic, but the writing still shimmers. This nimble, funny read is spiked with enough perception to allow the reader to enjoy Pat's blindly hopeful philosophy without irony." Barrie Hardymon, National Public Radio

"Quick fills the pages with so much absurd wit and true feeling that it's impossible not to cheer for his unlikely hero." Allison Lynn, People Magazine

"...compelling and fascinating ... a tour de force. ... From the beer-soaked Bacchanalian tailgating to the black holes of despair into which Iggles fans plunge themselves after a defeat, Quick is dead-on." Bill Lyon, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"...charming debut is hard not to be moved by the fate of a man who, despite many ordeals, tries to believe in hope and fidelity, not to mention getting through another day with his sanity intact." Stephen Barbara, The Wall Street Journal

"...endearing...touching and funny debut...Pat [Peoples] is as sweet as a puppy, and his offbeat story has all the markings of a crowd-pleaser." Publishers Weekly

“Matthew Quick has created quite the heartbreaker of a novel in The Silver Linings Playbook.” Kirkus First Fiction Issue

“heart-warming, humorous, and soul-satisfying … thought of starting off the review with a photo of me hugging the book and grinning like an idiot–I liked it that much.” Nancy Pearl, Pearl’s Picks + NPR’s ‘Summer’s Best Books’ (2009)

“You don’t have to be a Philadelphia Eagles’ fan (or even from Philadelphia) to appreciate talented newcomer Matthew Quick’s page-turning paean to the power of hope over experience—the belief that this will all work out somehow, despite the long odds that life deals us. ” Justin Cronin, PEN/Hemingway Award-winning author of The Passage

“More than a promising debut or an inspiring love story, this novel offers us the gift of healing.” Roland Merullo, author of Breakfast With Buddha

“This is a funny, touching performance on the part of Mr. Quick—and the beginning, I hope, of a big career.” Dave King, author of The Ha-Ha

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books; Mti edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374533571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374533571
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew Quick is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, which was made into an Oscar-winning film. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages and has received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention. Matthew lives with his wife, novelist/pianist Alicia Bessette, on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

164 of 172 people found the following review helpful By Justin Heinze on September 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
IN The Silver Linings Playbook, Mr. Quick has done something very difficult for literature to do: inspire hope. As the unflinchingly and endearingly honest main character notes, many of the greatest classics in American literature end in despair, or are such thorough condemnations of life as it is that it is difficult sometimes to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The lives of the authors often mirror the grim reality of their novels. Hemingway shoots himself dead with a shotgun and Plath sticks her head into an oven. Pat Peoples' explanation? They never looked up at the clouds at sunset.

It is this simple kind of appreciation for beauty which distinguishes Pat not just from his literary contemporaries, but from all of the other characters in The Silver Linings Playbook itself. He appreciates characters like Hester Prynne and Holden Caulfield who, like himself, hold onto their values and nobility in a harsh world that seems bent on stripping them of everything they hold dear. Though Pat himself is slightly deluded - he is not just on 'apart time' with his wife, there is no 'inevitable reunion' as the first chapter title suggests - his honest, everyman's struggle, epitomized by the apt adage of 'practicing being kind rather than right', against all the forces in the world conspiring to break his hope is so convincing that the reader starts to believe in silver linings himself.

This book will make you happy, though, because of the way it is written. Most of the chapter titles will make you laugh in a different way than the next. Mr. Quick's apt use of detail, allusions, and brilliant comparisons bring the story to life. That a chapter should be called "Like he was Yoda and I was Luke Skywalker training on Dagobah" is a very precious thing.
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93 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Myfanwy Collins on September 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Philadelphia is not only the home of the quintessentially American Liberty Bell, cheese steak, and Rocky, but now Philadelphia offers us another American original: Pat Peoples, the neurologically-damaged, ex-wife pining, mother-loving, uber Eagles fan protagonist of Matthew Quick's dazzling debut novel The Silver Linings Playbook.

You might think that a book about a guy who has lost so much--his wife, his home, his job, and many years of his life in a mental health facility--would be depressing. Far from it. In fact, this book is uplifting. For what Quick offers us is not just the brutality of life--a father who won't talk to his son, a cheating wife, many violent tempers--but also the beauty of it--finding love in unexpected people. Basically, Quick shows us that no matter how far down you fall, there are people willing to help you pick yourself back up. Quick gives us hope.

Does everything turn out the way Pat wanted it to? No. But it does turn out just as it should: with two broken souls coming together, hoping, and believing in the silver lining.

In short: a gorgeous, poignant, funny and uplifting book. Read it.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A. W. L. on September 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book that both men and women would enjoy. Very fast read and one that I could not put down. I was late for a lot of appointments and stayed up late because I had to finish just one more chapter. Although Pat Peoples has just been released from a psychiatric hospital, he appears to be the only "sane" character in the book compared to his family and friends. The book weaves the reader through the Eagles 2006 season as Pat struggles to fit in and resolve many of his personal issues. Pat always tries to "be kind rather than right" and is confident that with hard work, on his part, that his life will lead to a happy ending. I would highly recommend this book and can't wait to read Mr. Quick's next novel.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Voracious Reader on April 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
As the parent of an adult bipolar man, this helped me to understand just a little better what the internal dialogue must be like for him - the struggles to make sense of things, the struggle to maintain appearances while thoughts are racing. I laughed, I cried - this is an endearing and insightful book. I read the book after seeing the movie - and while I liked the movie, I wish it had stayed truer to the book. It could have been even more powerful. If you have family members who are a little "odd," this is a good read for you.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Theresa Travis on April 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've never met a character like Pat Peoples before, and now that I have, I won't forget him. This story is funny and sad, wonderfully endearing, slightly mysterious, and equal parts sacred and profane. The author has a distinctive voice, one utterly without pretense.

We meet Pat on the day he is being discharged from a mental health facility into the care of his mother. Pat is obsessed with reconciling with his estranged wife and everything he does has a single focus -- to bring about the end of "apart time" (as he calls it).

As the story unfolds, we begin to understand Pat and he begins to understand himself. One has the odd sensation of helping him along as we read along. If we stop reading, what will become of Pat? (That feeling probably explains why I literally could not stop reading this book until, alas, there was no more to read.)

The descriptions of male friendship are brilliant, and the supporting characters equally vivid. Buy this book! It is a great read.
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