The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel

Paperback | October 16, 2012

byMatthew Quick

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A heartwarming debut novel, now a major movie by David O. Russell-nominated for eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture), four Golden Globes, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards!

"Aawww shucks!" NPR's Nancy Pearl said. "I know that's hardly a usual way to begin a book review, but it was my immediate response to finishing Matthew Quick's heartwarming, humorous and soul-satisfying first novel . . . This book makes me smile."

Meet Pat Peoples. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending-the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat's now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he's being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he's being haunted by Kenny G!

David O. Russell, the Oscar-nominated director of The Fighter, is helming his own adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook, featuring Bradley Cooper (People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive) in the role of Pat, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker, and Jacki Weaver. As the award-winning novelist Justin Cronin put it: "Tender, soulful, hilarious, and true, The Silver Linings Playbook is a wonderful debut."

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From the Publisher

A heartwarming debut novel, now a major movie by David O. Russell-nominated for eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture), four Golden Globes, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards!"Aawww shucks!" NPR's Nancy Pearl said. "I know that's hardly a usual way to begin a book review, but it was my immediate response to finishing Matthew Qu...

In the six months that followed his leaving teaching and the Philadelphia area, Matthew Quick floated down the Peruvian Amazon and formed 'The Bardbarians' (a two-man literary circle), backpacked around Southern Africa, hiked to the bottom of a snowy Grand Canyon, soul-searched, and finally began writing full-time. Matthew earned his ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.21 × 5.45 × 0.87 inPublished:October 16, 2012Publisher:Farrar, Straus And GirouxLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0374533571

ISBN - 13:9780374533571

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Customer Reviews of The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT! The book is wonderful!! I love the way it's told and how the story unfolds. It's a must read for sure.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed I really wanted to like this book because I've heard such great things from the movie but I think in this rare case of book/movie adaptions the movie was better. Tiffany was barely in the story and for the most part unlikable, his dad was a complete ass and I didn't know how I felt about how the ending left off. Might be good to read before the movie for some more info and for the good portrayal of mental health but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Overcoming a fight within This book had a wide range of emotion. It shows a very typical perspective of living with a mental illness, but very accurate rendition of how to over come it. As the book was interesting and very well written I did feel like it dragged in some spot, maybe thats because I had the movie in my head as I read it or maybe it was just my lack of interest during these few pages that made it seem like it would never end. Overall it is a beautiful and strong story of Overcoming a fight within yourself and shows us how to deal with reality of certain situations and that everybody needs somebody to lean on.
Date published: 2016-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So good Watched the movie a couple years back. It's better than the movie. A light and easy read when you aren't sure what to read.
Date published: 2015-09-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book Great book. Liked the book better than the movie, just like any book that gets it's shot at the big screen. Highly recommend it.
Date published: 2015-05-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very Different From Movie The funny thing about this book is that I loved the movie way more. That never happens, but there you go. The book was still good enough for me to read to the end and there were parts that I enjoyed, but I just didn't get into it the way I did the movie. I think for me one of the problems is that I just don't like football all that much and football is a huge part of the book. And the book didn't have that same humourous, up front approach to mental illness that I appreciated in the movie. Unfortunately, I just didn't care about the main character all that much -- which is too bad because I wanted to. I feel kind of bad comparing the book to the movie so much, but it is hard not to because my expectations were raised, having seen the movie first. This just wasn't the book for me.
Date published: 2015-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good character study Well written and insightful look into the life of an interesting character. Easy quick read too.
Date published: 2014-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Silver Linings Playbook Seriously one of the best books I have ever read!
Date published: 2014-06-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thee silver linings playbook Tender and with insight
Date published: 2014-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I definitely fell in love with Pat Peoples This book was so happy and beautiful yet tragic all at the same time. It definitely takes you through an emotional roller coaster, seeming so real at times. I love the characters and the story. However, if anyone is wondering about the book in relation to the movie, they are totally and completely different. I was very disappointed in the movie. 
Date published: 2014-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different yet delightful read I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed the movie and recommend both. I love comparing books to movies and most of the time (if not all the time) the books tend to be better. I must admit that this book and the movie adaptation were very different so they were both equally good in their own right. The one thing I was really pleased about was that the movie stayed true to Pat and Tiffany's quirks-personality. Since I saw the movie first, I think Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence still made the perfect Pat and Tiffany in the book. Just a recommendation to those who have not seen the movie or read the book...I recommend you read the book first because key sequences in the book are switched up in the movie. But both are still different enough to give you that element of surprise regardless of which work you looked at first.
Date published: 2014-02-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Different yet delightful read I found this book did not live up to the things I had heard about it. I found that there was not much depth explored with many of the characters. It was entertaining enough for me to read the whole thing but not necessarily something I would recommend to anyone else.
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different yet delightful read A fantastic read! The narrators voice alone was enough to make it a worthwhile read, the heart wrenching story, complex characters, perfectly paced plot, and touching moments were just a bonus!
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Silver Linings Playbook I love the first person and direct, conversational writing style. The "montage" and the way it was woven into the "my life as a movie" theme was clever. Lost some sleep reading, but it was worth it. I finished the book still cheering for him to regain his full cognitive and emotional functioning.
Date published: 2014-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Silver Linings Playbook Very well written and descriptive. Not too wordy or long.-
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Silver Linings Playbook Loved it! Recommend it to all my fellow counseling peeps. Good depiction of the impact of mental illness on a family.
Date published: 2013-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Wow....a million x's better then the movie.
Date published: 2013-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than the movie! Nothing like the movie, 10 times better. Loved it!
Date published: 2013-06-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, but Boring This book was an easy read. The author does an amazing job telling the story through the eyes of the main character, Pat, who has spent the past 4 years in a mental hospital. The book was not suspensful or action, which is usually more my type, so I did find it slow and boring at some points - But in the end I really did enjoy this book!
Date published: 2013-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nothing like the movie The movie did NOT do this book justice at all. Such an amazing read
Date published: 2013-05-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Beautiful Novel A great novel for anyone interested in the theme of soul-searching.
Date published: 2013-05-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well done Very enjoyable and hard to put down.
Date published: 2013-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed it Read it in 3 days. Liked it!
Date published: 2013-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Awesome both the book and the movie
Date published: 2013-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I liked it! An easy read with depth and several moments which spawned self-reflection. Now I'm looking forward to seeing Jennifer Lawrence earn her Oscar.
Date published: 2013-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The True Silver Lining. This book is a truly touching must read! The real silver lining in this book is how much better you feel when you finish reading it. Pat's story is so moving and you instantly connect with him and wish or the best. I would definitely recommend this book, as I have just finished it for the second time. Just a warning: the recent film strays far from the original book. I would recommend reading the book first just o get a better background on the characters.
Date published: 2013-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a really fun read an emotional and fun read. there some mystery to the book. why did pat go crazy? what is up with tiffyany? all will be revealed at the end. this book is part emotional because of the way pat is and how he is treated. the humor is in OCD exercising and "crazy" tiffany. i really liked both characters. both fun yet there is an intensity to them- whether it is individually or together. i can see how some readers will not like tiffany. the book is sad at the same time...read it and you will see. never read something quiet like this. it was mind blowing but definitely different. could have toned down the football references (i'm not a sports fan). but i guess that is pat peoples for you. can't wait to see the movie.
Date published: 2012-12-24

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Chapter OneAn Infinite Amount of Days Until My Inevitable Reunion with NikkiI don’t have to look up to know Mom is making another surprise visit. Her toenails are always pink during the summer months, and I recognize the flower design imprinted on her leather sandals; it’s what Mom purchased the last time she signed me out of the bad place and took me to the mall. Once again, Mother has found me in my bathrobe, exercising unattended in the courtyard, and I smile because I know she will yell at Dr. Timbers, asking him why I need to be locked up if I’m only going to be left alone all day. “Just how many push-ups are you going to do, Pat?” Mom says when I start a second set of one hundred without speaking to her. “Nikki—likes—a—man—with—a—developed—upper—body,” I say, spitting out one word per push-up, tasting the salty sweat lines that are running into my mouth. The August haze is thick, perfect for burning fat. Mom just watches for a minute or so, and then she shocks me. Her voice sort of quivers as she says, “Do you want to come home with me today?” I stop doing push-ups, turn my face up toward Mother’s, squint through the white noontime sun—and I can immediately tell she is serious, because she looks worried, as if she is making a mistake, and that’s how Mom looks when she means something she has said and isn’t just talking like she always does for hours on end whenever she’s not upset or afraid. “As long as you promise not to go looking for Nikki again,” she adds, “you can finally come home and live with me and your father until we find you a job and get you set up in an apartment.” I resume my push-up routine, keeping my eyes riveted to the shiny black ant scaling a blade of grass directly below my nose, but my peripheral vision catches the sweat beads leaping from my face to the ground below. “Pat, just say you’ll come home with me, and I’ll cook for you and you can visit with your old friends and start to get on with your life finally. Please. I need you to want this. If only for me, Pat. Please.” Double-time push-ups, my pecs ripping, growing—pain, heat, sweat, change. I don’t want to stay in the bad place, where no one believes in silver linings or love or happy endings, and where everyone tells me Nikki will not like my new body, nor will she even want to see me when apart time is over. But I am also afraid the people from my old life will not be as enthusiastic as I am now trying to be. Even still, I need to get away from the depressing doctors and the ugly nurses—with their endless pills in paper cups—if I am ever going to get my thoughts straight, and since Mom will be much easier to trick than medical professionals, I jump up, find my feet, and say, “I’ll come live with you just until apart time is over.” While Mom is signing legal papers, I take one last shower in my room and then fill my duffel bag with clothes and my framed picture of Nikki. I say goodbye to my roommate, Jackie, who just stares at me from his bed like he always does, drool running down off his chin like clear honey. Poor Jackie, with his random tufts of hair, oddly shaped head, and flabby body. What woman would ever love him? He blinks at me. I take this for goodbye and good luck, so I blink back with both eyes—meaning double good luck to you, Jackie, which I figure he understands, since he grunts and bangs his shoulder against his ear like he does whenever he gets what you are trying to tell him. My other friends are in music relaxation class, which I do not attend, because smooth jazz makes me angry sometimes. Thinking maybe I should say goodbye to the men who had my back while I was locked up, I look into the music-room window and see my boys sitting Indian style on purple yoga mats, their elbows resting on their knees, their palms pressed together in front of their faces, and their eyes closed. Luckily, the glass of the window blocks the smooth jazz from entering my ears. My friends look really relaxed—at peace—so I decide not to interrupt their session. I hate goodbyes. In his white coat, Dr. Timbers is waiting for me when I meet my mother in the lobby, where three palm trees lurk among the couches and lounge chairs, as if the bad place were in Orlando and not Baltimore. “Enjoy your life,” he says to me—wearing that sober look of his—and shakes my hand. “Just as soon as apart time ends,” I say, and his face falls as if I said I was going to kill his wife, Natalie, and their three blondhaired daughters—Kristen, Jenny, and Becky—because that’s just how much he does not believe in silver linings, making it his business to preach apathy and negativity and pessimism unceasingly. But I make sure he understands that he has failed to infect me with his depressing life philosophies—and that I will be looking forward to the end of apart time. I say, “Picture me rollin’” to Dr. Timbers, which is exactly what Danny—my only black friend in the bad place—told me he was going to say to Dr. Timbers when Danny got out. I sort of feel bad about stealing Danny’s exit line, but it works; I know because Dr. Timbers squints as if I had punched him in the gut. As my mother drives me out of Maryland and through Delaware, past all those fast-food places and strip malls, she explains that Dr. Timbers did not want to let me out of the bad place, but with the help of a few lawyers and her girlfriend’s therapist—the man who will be my new therapist—she waged a legal battle and managed to convince some judge that she could care for me at home, so I thank her. On the Delaware Memorial Bridge, she looks over at me and asks if I want to get better, saying, “You do want to get better, Pat. Right?” I nod. I say, “I do.” And then we are back in New Jersey, flying up 295. As we drive down Haddon Avenue into the heart of Collingswood—my hometown—I see that the main drag looks different. So many new boutique stores, new expensive-looking restaurants, and well-dressed strangers walking the sidewalks that I wonder if this is really my hometown at all. I start to feel anxious, breathing heavily like I sometimes do. Mom asks me what’s wrong, and when I tell her, she again promises that my new therapist, Dr. Patel, will have me feeling normal in no time. When we arrive home, I immediately go down into the basement, and it’s like Christmas. I find the weight bench my mother had promised me so many times, along with the rack of weights, the stationary bike, dumbbells, and the Stomach Master 6000, which I had seen on late-night television and coveted for however long I was in the bad place. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I tell Mom, and give her a huge hug, picking her up off the ground and spinning her around once. When I put her down, she smiles and says, “Welcome home, Pat.” Eagerly I go to work, alternating between sets of bench presses, curls, machine sit-ups on the Stomach Master 6000, leg lifts, squats, hours on the bike, hydration sessions (I try to drink four gallons of water every day, doing endless shots of H2O from a shot glass for intensive hydration), and then there is my writing, which is mostly daily memoirs like this one, so that Nikki will be able to read about my life and know exactly what I’ve been up to since apart time began. (My memory started to slip in the bad place because of the drugs, so I began writing down everything that happens to me, keeping track of what I will need to tell Nikki when apart time concludes, to catch her up on my life. But the doctors in the bad place confiscated everything I wrote before I came home, so I had to start over.) When I finally come out of the basement, I notice that all the pictures of Nikki and me have been removed from the walls and the mantel over the fireplace. I ask my mother where these pictures went. She tells me our house was burglarized a few weeks before I came home and the pictures were stolen. I ask why a burglar would want pictures of Nikki and me, and my mother says she puts all of her pictures in very expensive frames. “Why didn’t the burglar steal the rest of the family pictures?” I ask. Mom says the burglar stole all the expensive frames, but she had the negatives for the family portraits and had them replaced. “Why didn’t you replace the pictures of Nikki and me?” I ask. Mom says she did not have the negatives for the pictures of Nikki and me, especially because Nikki’s parents had paid for the wedding pictures and had only given my mother copies of the photos she liked. Nikki had given Mom the other non-wedding pictures of us, and well, we aren’t in touch with Nikki or her family right now because it’s apart time. I tell my mother that if that burglar comes back, I’ll break his kneecaps and beat him within an inch of his life, and she says, “I believe you would.” My father and I do not talk even once during the first week I am home, which is not all that surprising, as he is always working—he’s the district manager for all the Big Foods in South Jersey. When Dad’s not at work, he’s in his study, reading historical fiction with the door shut, mostly novels about the Civil War. Mom says he needs time to get used to my living at home again, which I am happy to give him, especially since I am sort of afraid to talk with Dad anyway. I remember him yelling at me the only time he ever visited me in the bad place, and he said some pretty awful things about Nikki and silver linings in general. I see Dad in the hallways of our house, of course, but he doesn’t look at me when we pass. Nikki likes to read, and since she always wanted me to read literary books, I start, mainly so I will be able to participate in the dinner conversations I had remained silent through in the past—those conversations with Nikki’s literary friends, all English teachers who think I’m an illiterate buffoon, which is actually a name Nikki’s friend calls me whenever I tease him about being such a tiny man. “At least I’m not an illiterate buffoon,” Phillip says to me, and Nikki laughs so hard. My mom has a library card, and she checks out books for me now that I am home and allowed to read whatever I want without clearing the material with Dr. Timbers, who, incidentally, is a fascist when it comes to book banning. I start with The Great Gatsby, which I finish in just three nights. The best part is the introductory essay, which states that the novel is mostly about time and how you can never buy it back, which is exactly how I feel regarding my body and exercise—but then again, I also feel as if I have an infinite amount of days until my inevitable reunion with Nikki. When I read the actual story—how Gatsby loves Daisy so much but can’t ever be with her no matter how hard he tries—I feel like ripping the book in half and calling up Fitzgerald and telling him his book is all wrong, even though I know Fitzgerald is probably deceased. Especially when Gatsby is shot dead in his swimming pool the first time he goes for a swim all summer, Daisy doesn’t even go to his funeral, Nick and Jordan part ways, and Daisy ends up sticking with racist Tom, whose need for sex basically murders an innocent woman, you can tell Fitzgerald never took the time to look up at clouds during sunset, because there’s no silver lining at the end of that book, let me tell you. I do see why Nikki likes the novel, as it’s written so well. But her liking it makes me worry now that Nikki doesn’t really believe in silver linings, because she says The Great Gatsby is the greatest novel ever written by an American, and yet it ends so sadly. One thing’s for sure, Nikki is going to be very proud of me when I tell her I finally read her favorite book. Here’s another surprise: I’m going to read all the novels on her American literature class syllabus, just to make her proud, to let her know that I am really interested in what she loves and I am making a real effort to salvage our marriage, especially since I will now be able to converse with her swanky literary friends, saying things like, “I’m thirty. I’m five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor,” which Nick says toward the end of Fitzgerald’s famous novel, but the line works for me too, because I am also thirty, so when I say it, I will sound really smart. We will probably be chatting over dinner, and the reference will make Nikki smile and laugh because she will be so surprised that I have actually read The Great Gatsby. That’s part of my plan, anyway, to deliver that line real suave, when she least expects me to “drop knowledge”—to use another one of my black friend Danny’s lines. God, I can’t wait. Excerpted from The SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK by Matthew QuickCopyright © 2008 by Matthew Quick Published in 2008 by Farrar, Straus and GirouxAll rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Bookclub Guide

For Pat Peoples, despair is not an option. Recently released from a neural health facility and still recovering from a traumatic event that has been blocked from his memory, Pat is sure that he can find a silver lining in even the most challenging situation. He also believes that his life is a movie produced by God, and that if he can get himself in tip-top shape physically and emotionally, he will be reunited with the love of his life, his estranged wife, Nikki. Keeping Pat on the road to recovery is an unconventional therapist named Cliff Patel, whose obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles rivals Pat's. Along the way, Pat tries to understand why his family seems to be hiding something from him, why Kenny G's "Songbird" is one of the few things that makes him want to hit something, and why his new friend Tiffany thinks she can lure Pat away from Nikki. Tragically widowed and clinically depressed, Tiffany challenges Pat's view of the world, raising poignant questions about hope and love. The discussion topics that follow are designed to enhance your reading of Matthew Quick's The Silver Linings Playbook. We hope they will enrich your experience of this inspiring tale.

Editorial Reviews

"Matthew Quick has created quite the heartbreaker of a novel in The Silver Linings Playbook." -from the Kirkus First Fiction Issue"Matthew Quick is a natural storyteller, and his Silver Linings Playbook--honest, wise, and compassionate--is a story that carries the reader along on a gust of optimism. Without shying away from the difficulties of domestic life, it charts a route past those challenges, and leaves us with a lingering sense of hope. More than a promising debut or an inspiring love story, this novel offers us the gift of healing." -Roland Merullo, author of In Revere, In Those Days"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. Tender, soulful, hilarious, and true, The Silver Linings Playbook is a wonderful debut." -Justin Cronin, PEN/Hemingway Award-winning author of Mary and O'Neil and The Summer Guest"The hero of Matthew Quick's first novel is Pat Peoples, amnesiac optimist and absolute original, whose dysfunctional journey takes him from big-league fandom to competitive dance and a host of other modern preoccupations. 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"Entertaining and heartfelt and authentic, The Silver Linings Playbook magically binds together love, madness, Philadelphia Eagles football, faith, family and hard-earned hope into a story that is both profound and wonderfully beguiling. This is a splendid novel, written by a big-time talent." -Martin Clark, author of The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living and The Legal Limit"I loved The Silver Linings Playbook. It is warm, funny, and moving." -Shawn McBride, author of Green Grass Grace