The Silver Linings Playbook
By Matthew Quick
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374264260, 304pp.)
Publication Date: September 2, 2008
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An enchanting first novel about love, madness, and Kenny G.The Silver Linings Playbook is the riotous and poignant story of how one man regains his memory and comes to terms with the magnitude of his wife’s betrayal. During the years he spends in a neural health facility, Pat Peoples formulates a theory about silver linings: he believes his life is a movie produced by God, his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki; his old friends are saddled with families; the Philadelphia Eagles keep losing, making his father moody; and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy. When Pat meets the tragically widowed and clinically depressed Tiffany, she offers to act as a liaison between him and his wife, if only he will give up watching football, agree to perform in this year’s Dance Away Depression competition, and promise not to tell anyone about their “contract.” All the while, Pat keeps searching for his silver lining. In this brilliantly written debut novel, Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat’s mind, deftly showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective. The result is a touching and funny story that helps us look at both depression and love in a wonderfully refreshing way.
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 Creative Writing MFA through Goddard College. He has since returned to the Philadelphia area, where he lives with his wife and their greyhound.
- How does the book redefine happy endings? What makes Pat so determined to believe that every cloud has a silver lining?
"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