Tonawanda News

Features

January 21, 2013

BOOK NOOK: 'Silver Linings' enjoyable, language a distraction

Tonawanda News — For an ardent reader, listening to your first audiobook can be a little jarring.

I’m not sure how things go in the audiobook world, but I’m thinking choosing “Silver Linings Playbook” as my first might not have been a great idea. Or maybe I just don’t like audiobooks; who knows? But when you’re staring down 20 hours of driving across the country, you gotta do something to keep your mind awake and occupied. 

Unfortunately, I chose a book that was a bit monotone, broken up only by the male narrator’s attempt at female voices, which had me visualizing drag queens.

That said, I did my best to keep my dislike of the format in check when reviewing this 2008 offering by Matthew Quick, but I would have been remiss not to mention it.

Quick’s tale of Pat Peoples, a 30-something former history teacher just returning to live with his parents in New Jersey after treatment in a neural health facility, came to my attention with the release last month of a film by the same name.

Put simply, Pat is obsessed.

“With what?” you may ask. Well, with Nikki, his estranged wife, for starters. But also working out to become trim and fit for Nikki, reading classic American literature to make Nikki — a high school English teacher — happy, and the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the few things he’s interested in that has nothing to do with winning back Nikki.

At one point, the reader — or listener, in my case — becomes aware that due to either mental illness or brain injury (it’s not clear), Pat now views the world in a very child-like way. 

Every choice he makes in life boils down to whether it will please Nikki. Thoughts, actions, words are either good or bad, will either help him win back Nikki or not. 

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