The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

13539044The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick had a lot to live up to. I know it’s blasphemous to prefer the movie to the book, but I adored this movie. And when I say I adored, what I mean is I was borderline obsessed. Okay, not even borderline. Unsurprisingly, The Litwits wanted to read the source material so I eagerly picked up a beautiful movie-cover edition (don’t hate me!) and got started.

You don’t need a synopsis. Because you’ve already seen the movie. Right? RIGHT? If not, pause your reading and go watch. Now. Yes, right now. Then come back – or don’t. Up to you.

Ultimately, I still enjoy the movie more but feel like as a whole they are highly complimentary. Certain characters are drawn far better in the book – Pat’s brother, Pat’s mom, while others I prefer the movie version – Pat’s Dad, Tiffany. The book allows some great insight into Pat’s thoughts and inner monologues and the movie excels at making me feel all the feels. Several Litwits members agreed that the movie was the more emotional medium in that they cried watching but not reading. What also interested me in the book was the ambiguity of the story. Pat’s never diagnosed in Quick’s story and the relationship between Pat and Tiffany is left a bit more open ended than the Hollywood version.

Kathleen finished reading the book and immediately watched the movie and felt that the movie did an amazing job capturing the essence of the story. I have to agree wholeheartedly. SLP is a great film adaptation. What both narrative forms have going for them is Pat. He’s the happiest, most joyful, and positive character Victoria believes she’s read in a long while. I think he’s the reason so many people love this story no matter how they come to it. His mantra from the book is ‘be kind, not right’ which is something we all need to remember from time to time.

The rest of our discussion centered around watching the Eagles chant on YouTube, state mental health institutions, and what an amazing job both Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence did in the film.

Now, not everyone was extremely pleased with the story and that’s okay! Some members didn’t think the characters were that likable and that some of the details were a bit far-fetched. I can see both these things as being very true – but the movie captured my heart in that special way where I ignore all the flaws, lol.  I was surprised how many Litwits enjoyed the book more (I shouldn’t have been surprised), but I’m sticking with the movie.

Have you seen the movie and read the book? Which did you prefer? 

Rating: starstarstarstar

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16 thoughts on “The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

  1. As much as I loved the film, I much prefer the book – I cried way more through it that I did the film. I think that is the nature of something good, you’ll prefer whichever you come to first.

    I actually found Pat’s ‘positivity’ worrisome in the novel – although not in the film – as it felt as if it were masking a lot of damage, frustration and pain. More of a tool to ignore the past that to deal with it, whereas in the film I felt like that was genuinely part of his personality.

    As much as the film had a lovely Hollywood ending (the bit where I did cry) the book ending for me felt more true to life – well, as true to life as that book could get.

    • I definitely agree that however we come to love a story we generally prefer that medium. I still know so many people who saw the movie first and yet love the book more – so they would totally agree with you on all accounts. I’m the odd duck out!

  2. you know, I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. I’m stuck in the situation where i don’t know which i should do first, though generally i prefer to read the book first. It is supposed to be a great movie adaptation, so it doesn’t surprise me that you are obsessed with it. And Bradley Cooper ain’t too bad either!

  3. I enjoyed the movie (although I didn’t love it, I think the flaws got to me) but I’d be interested to see what Quick does with the characters in the book version. I had a hard time understanding where Pat’s life philosophy come from in the movie, so maybe that’s better explained in the book?

    • The movie definitely had its flaws, but so did the book. In fact, we discussed how far we had to suspend belief at certain parts in the book – his relationship with his therapist is far weirder and a certain Christmas miracle was ridiculous. I’d say the book was harder to actually believe in parts than the movie.

  4. I’m about to do the same thing with The Count of Monte Cristo, where I’ve loved the movie but am only just getting to the book. Hopefully I like them both after reading too!

  5. I read the book first and loved it. I left it for quite a long time before watching the film and by then I’d heard people say how different it was to the original work. However, I’ve just reviewed the film and I love it just as much as the book!

    There are a huge amount of changes and alterations which I thought I would hate, but I think it gives the book a whole new lease of life. I love them both in varying ways and really appreciate the differences between the two. I’d struggle to pick which one is my favourite!

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