The Silver Linings Playbook in a nutshell:
The Bad Place
Stomach Master 6000
As Danny, my black friend says, …
(Repeat two more times with the following word inserted at the end)
That’s about it. The simplicity, the naivety of Pat Peoples (not to mention that name, Pat Peoples?), and the repetition and over explanation of everything—it was grating. Yet, despite all this, this novel had some really great scenes, and those are what held up the novel, made it tolerable for the first 4/5. Because really, the first 4/5 of this novel is little more than the list of words at the top of this review. Those scenes where we see Pat and Tiffany interact, with one another and with others, those are what made this novel. I mean, we all love to watch crazy people on the move, don’t we?
The writing is so simple, Pat so naïve, that you can assume Quick is not a very good writer. But then, in those concluding chapters, there is a sense that maybe Quick knew what he was doing. Peoples begins to make connections between himself and Catcher in the Rye’s Holden Caulfield. Caulfield over simplifies things, he sometimes sees the best in people, like Peoples. I’m not a fan of Caulfield, but Quick’s connection between the two characters makes the story much clearer, and its protagonist more human. For me, it’s too little, too late. Yes, it may be a brilliant play, but I can only handle so much drool over The Stomach Master 6000, and Eagles football before I give up on a novel. It just goes on too long.
Besides a well-wrapped ending and some fabulous scenes, this novel provides a stellar example of how to incorporate real world events and markers into a story’s plot. The song choice for the dance was perfect, and the novels Peoples read and the career of the footballs players were well picked and played as well.
Overall, a decent story, but I hoped for more. I will not be surprised at all if I like the film adaptation of this one better.
By the way, did anyone else struggle through Peoples’ constant use of the phrase “Danny, my black friend, says, ‘Crackalatin’”, “Danny would say ‘Regulatin’, because he’s black.” And so forth? Yes, it may just be another element of Peoples’ naivety, but I found it not only ignorant, but annoying as well.