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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Book Review : Silver Linings Playbook by Mathew Quick

Pages 289

Read on : Kindle

Review :  I'm going to be very honest with this review. I did not like this book. Seeing this movie on the Oscar roll , me and my dad tried our best to watch this film but it seemed to go nowhere.  Assuming this to be my foolishness , I tried to give the book a shot ( knowing all books are better than their screen adaptations). Disappointed.

There's no plot as such. The story is about a phase in Pat's life. Pat, a 30-something Bipolar adult and his perspective on life.  Pat's loves football , strives to be physically fit and  literate in order to win Nikki , his  ex-wife , back. Pat and Nikki have been divorced two years with Nikki filling a restraining order against him , however , Pat refuses to accept this. He's sees their separation as alone time for him to work on himself and is certain it's just a limited period.

Most readers and reviewers on Goodreads have said that book is seemingly an grown up version of 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' , which I too have begun to accept. 

The primary and main problem I have with this book is that Pat is bipolar but is portrayed as mentally unstable. He talks and thinks as if he's 10 , which made no sense. It should come as no surprise that Pat has spent a considerable time in a mental facility and all his friends and family tip toe around him.  As a character , Pat of course had to be flawed however despite his whimsical ways , lack of any such emotional reaction made me feel detached from him completely. On the contrary , Tiffany seemed to be a character whose confusions and outbursts you could empathize with.  Along with  Tiffany , other characters like Ronnie , Dr Cliff seemed to have more persona because of their subtle displays of care and concern about Pat.  If anything , Pat seems more of a student or disciple than good-husband-in-the-making . He faithfully reads all of Nikki's  favourite books , takes his medicines on time  and  obediently follows all of Dr Cliff's instructions.

Strangely after hearing everyone talking about the high emotional quotient in this book I managed to find only few bits that seemed heartbreaking. The first being when  Veronica yells at her husband for leaving their daughter Emily with Pat on the beach.  Pat has a certain fondness for Emily that only peeks through the story's crevices. The second high point is when Pat's delusion comes to an end and he sees Nikki has moved on and is now happy without him.

This book really left me baffled. Pat was smart enough to understand and scrutinize great literary works like The Great Gatsby , The Bell Jar , Huckleberry Fin , Catcher in the Rye , The Scarlet Letter but still found it really hard to fully understand situations and people surrounding him. His annoyance with Tiffany seems normal but the sudden affection towards her in the end seemed way too forced on.  I would consider that a Bollywood cliche. 

Final Rating : 2/5

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