Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Review 51: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

UnknownI never read The Silver Linings Playbook, but I did see the movie and liked it. But now, having read Matthew Quick’s more recent book, I’m wondering…do all of his books have to do with young people and mental illness? I’m just curious.

Leonard Peacock is a high school senior with a somewhat strange family life. His father was a huge one-hit wonder back in the 80s, but has since disappeared to somewhere in South America in order to evade the IRS. He is also an alcoholic and drug addict, and all around irresponsible adult. Leonard’s mom is a former model, and now a fashion designer who lives in New York City. She tries to visit Leonard on the weekends sometimes, but often forgets. Leonard lives alone in his suburban Philadelphia home, trying his best to figure out life.

He’s not doing a very good job.

As the book starts off, on the morning of Leonard’s 18th birthday, Leonard is packing his backpack for school. Not with books, but with a gun he can use to kill his former best friends, and then himself.

As the story goes on, we learn all about Leonard and his former friend Asher. We also meet Leonard’s other “friends” — including the one teacher Leonard trusts and respects, and the elderly neighbor that Leonard spends a lot of time watching old Bogart movies with.

No doubt at all that Matthew Quick is a great writer. But something about this book just rubbed me the wrong way. I think my major problem was reading it as a parent and being constantly furious at Leonard’s parents — his mother, in particular — and not being able to get past their absence. However, there were many parts where Quick’s brilliance got the best of me. Leonard writes himself letters from the future, in order to try and convince himself that his life will indeed be better someday. I loved these parts, and almost wish the entire book had been written as such.

I’m curious about Quick’s other works, and will probably give him another try…just not anytime soon.

Two and a half stars.

You can read more of my reviews on my blog.

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Alli’s #CBR5 Review #5 – The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

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There is nothing quite like when you find a book that just sucks you right in and before you know it you have read a whole book in a day.  The Silver Linings Playbook was that kind of book for me.

I didn’t realize that this was also a book. I watched the movie a few months ago and quite enjoyed it although I found some parts slightly flawed. The book gave me similar feelings. I enjoyed the differences between the book and the movie and I think the two stand alone on their own merits. For anyone not familiar, this is a story of Pat Peoples who returns home after a stay in a neural health facility. He is taken home by his mother and lives a life filled with running, exercise, and trying to keep it together. His family life is flawed, his Dad is extremely emotionally distant and his mother tries to cover it up by being extra accommodating to everyone and not acknowledging the problems that exist.

Read the rest on my blog

Badkittyuno’s #CBR5 Review #20: The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

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“Life is hard, and children have to be told how hard life can be…So they will be sympathetic to others. So they will understand that some people have it harder than they do and that a trip through this world can be a wildly different experience, depending on what chemicals are raging through one’s mind.”

I still haven’t seen the movie yet, but I borrowed The Silver Linings Playbook from my sister and liked it enough to want to watch it on film. It’s a quick read, but kind of a sad one. The quote above is basically the moral of the novel. But since the story is told from the perspective of a man who firmly believes in silver linings, it’s extra hard to watch him learn that lesson.
Pat has been in a mental hospital for an undetermined amount of time before his mother brings him home, against the advice of his doctors and the wishes of her (asshole) husband. Pat landed in the “bad place” after an incident with his wife, but he strongly believes that God wants him to improve himself (work out more, read more, quit watching movies) so that his “apart time” with his wife will end.
Pat looks for the silver linings in things, and tries to maintain a positive perspective, which is noble but difficult in light of all of his problems, which he mostly refuses to recognize. He meets a woman named Tiffany, who is her own brand of strange, and becomes reabsorbed into the world of Eagles football. There’s some debate as to whether those things are good for him. He works out almost constantly, is ignored by his father and rarely takes his pills. He iReading the book (which is basically his diary) gives the reader an interesting look into the mind of a man whose chemicals just can’t seem to balance themselves out.

Funkyfacecat’s #CBR5 Review #02 The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

I really enjoyed the film The Silver Linings Playbook (I don’t necessarily think it’s the Best Picture, but it’s certainly a very good one, with excellent performances), and so I thought I’d check out the book. The book is a bit darker in mood but similar in content (and most of the changes for the film make sense to me) – a romantic comedy about broken people, about family, and learning about saving yourself.

Pat has been released from a psychiatric institution into his mother’s custody. He and his wife separated a while ago over an incident that Pat can’t quite remember and refuses to think about. Instead he focuses on fixing himself in order to win back his wife. He narrates this journey of  self-improvement as a sort of love letter to her, but it gradually becomes more of a document of his own survival and tentative re-connection to the rest of the world, including his court-mandated therapist, own family and the mysteriously promiscuous widow Tiffany. Tiffany inveigles him into committing to something he has never done before, and in doing so causes him to awaken in some ways – not always with immediately positive effects.

Pat is an endearing hero – lost, lonely, but optimistic, with a faith in the future that is inspiring, even if it is misguided. The only thing that slightly bothered me about the book was the register of his voice – he was a history teacher in a high school before his breakdown, but he sometimes writes in a childish and simple way. I suppose this could be the result of his mental illness, but it’s never explained, and it just occasionally seems as if the author went too far, for example with the repetition of the phrase “apart time” for Pat’s separation from his wife. I don’t know; I don’t know enough about bipolar disorder or amnesia to determine how realistic it, and indeed the rest of the novel is. But this is just a minor quibble – over all, The Silver Linings Playbook is sad but hopeful, and funny in a warm sort of way.

Charlottellamae CBR5 Book Review #4 The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

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When I first saw a commercial for The Silver Linings Playbook, I must admit, I wasn’t impressed. From what I saw it looked like a very stereotypical romantic comedy. Boy is sad. Boy meets sad girl. They fall in love. Both are happy. The end. Then I saw that it was nominated for 8 oscars. So then I thought, “Well, obviously this movie must be more than I thought.” I figured I would buy the book and see what it was all about.
Pat Peoples has been in a mental rehabilitation hospital for what appears to be a few months when his mom comes to bring him home. Pat has developed the idea that his life is a movie and it can only end when he finds his silver lining. To achieve his silver lining he must become physically fit so his wife, Nikki will come back to him. They have been separated during Pat’s time in “the bad place” but he is sure that “apart time” will be over soon.
When Pat arrives home he is shocked to discover that during his time in the “bad place” his brother got married, his best friend was married and has a child, and his favorite football stadium has been torn down and a new one built. What’s worse is that no one will talk to him about Nikki. Then Pat meets Tiffany, a clinically depressed widow. She doesn’t speak very often, mostly just follows Pat on his 10 mile runs everyday. Eventually they strike up a friendship that could help Pat end “apart time.”
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick is endearing. That is, you root for Pat even when he does something horrible. What I like about the novel is the character growth. Pat, his parents, Tiffany are all so different at the end of the novel. Not to say that any of them have changed so much it is unbelievable. There is no miracle cure for depression in any of these pages but the characters do mature in many ways.
What I didn’t like so much about the book is the way it’s written. The book is narrated by Pat because we are reading the journal he has written. It is written in a very childish manner, which is true to Pat’s character but for some reason it annoyed me. It honestly probably wouldn’t make sense written any other way but I just didn’t like it. Do not take that one little problem that I had and decide to not read the book though. It is a very funny, quirky novel and I am glad the movie got so many Oscar nominations because it helped me not judge a book by it’s adaptation to movie’s commercial.

Lollygagger’s #CBR5 Review #04: Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

I tend to gravitate towards non-fiction books. Reading literature in school involved so much analysis; I got to a point after my last literature class where I felt I didn’t know how to read fiction on my own, without a guide or a discussion around it to try to find the ‘deeper’ meaning. What’s the point of picking up a classic if I’m going to miss all of the nuance?

On occasion, however, a work of fiction sounds interesting and I’m willing to give it a whirl. Generally speaking I’ve been lucky with my picks – and “Silver Linings Playbook” continues that lucky streak. If you’ve not yet read it, and can get past the idea of picturing the dude from “The Hangover” and Katniss Everdeen in the main roles, I think you’ll find you’re in for a quick but satisfying read.  I read it in three days and found I was disappointed not in the ending, but in the fact that it was done. This is a book that had me thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it, and wanting to get back to it when I was doing other things.

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