Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"The Silver Linings Playbook" by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings PlaybookThe Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A charming, old-fashioned romantic comedy about mentally ill people.

Pat, the sympathetic, unreliable narrator tells the tale of his release from a mental institution following events the nature of which are only gradually revealed. What is immediately clear is that his obsession with his ex-wife is irrational, and that this aspect of his life is a train-wreck.

Suddenly, however, he is presented with another love interest, Tiffany, who has problems with her own. Needless to say, despite this apparent convenience, events do not progress with Hollywood smoothness.

The male characters' obsession with American football will be a problem for those readers who do not share it; as will Pat's habit of giving away the unhappy endings to classic novels.

The story-telling is fluent, the characterisations are compelling, and one finds oneself rooting for the central protagonists. The narrator's soft-pedalling of his own plight, however, means that we only get hints of the suffering he's brought to other people's lives; we are denied the complete picture.

Thus, it's perhaps a little too likeable to be entirely credible.

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