Book Review: The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

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Today’s guest book reviewer is Doreen McGettigan, a published author herself (more info on Doreen at the end of this review). When she told me that she wanted to review The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel by Matthew Quick, I had about a thousand reasons to say yes. Here’s four:

  1. I love the fact that the author, Matthew Quick, was an English teacher who pursued his dream and decided to write a book. What a great “life lesson” he gave to his students.
  2. Matthew is a local guy. He was a teacher at Haddonfield High School. In all the press interviews he has given about the book and about the movie, I really related to the notion of a high school English teacher taking a shot at a “second act” in their career. Funny…the same thing happened to me.
  3. The star of the film, Bradley Cooper, is proud of his Philly roots. He grew up here and always puts the Philadelphia area on the map in both his interviews and his numerous return visits. The movie is a true film valentine to the Philadelphia region.
  4. Roe loves Bradley Cooper (gee, I wonder why).

And here’s Doreen’s review of The Silver Linings Playbook:

Matthew Quick

Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook

Matt Quick grew up, lived in Collingwood, New Jersey, and taught English at Haddonfield Memorial High School until he decided to pursue his dream of writing a novel. He moved in with his in-laws in New England, turned their basement into an office where he wrote three subpar novels before finally after three years emerged with The Silver Linings Playbook.

Right from the opening pages of this book, I felt the narrator although fictitious was quite believable. Pat Peoples is a loveable, simple man that wants nothing more than to get back together with his wife and have “apart- time” end. 

The author invented a cast of characters that we can all relate to because we all know someone like them. The mother is an enabler that coddles, but knows what is best and just wants her son to be healthy and happy and for the family to get along.  The father is an angry, abusive man that wants his family to support him in his obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles. The supporting characters are also recognizable and realistic as well.

They say to write what you love, and Matt Quick must love football and the Eagles because there are a lot of both in this book. As a football fan, I got it and did not find it distracting. I read somewhere that the author would drive 10 hours round trip to attend every Eagles home game.

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”0374533571″ locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”” width=”337″]Pat gets out of the mental hospital and continues to work out and to read literary novels in order to become the man his estranged wife Nikki wants. I knew something tragic had to have happened between the two of them, but it is not revealed until the end of the book. In the meantime, the crazy sister-in-law of a friend starts to stalk Pat while he is on his runs but she never speaks to him.

What I loved most about this book is the opportunity it presents to start conversations centering on mental health and the way we dance around the subject without making any forward progress. This novel sheds some light on the dilemma so many families face every single day.

I rarely (more like never) cry or laugh out loud while reading anything. I did both while reading this book. While not technically a literary masterpiece, this book has sadness, heartbreak, humor and silver linings. It was truly entertaining, which to me is a masterpiece.

I highly recommend this book and believe men and women alike will find it thoroughly entertaining.

Update: I went to see the movie based on this book and loved the movie as well. David O’Russell’s first book to movie adaption I felt is Oscar-worthy. He takes the liberty to change certain aspects of the story but I have to say I agreed with his changes.

It is always nice when the audience cheers at the end of a movie but it was just as nice to hear everyone cheering at local landmarks in the movie such as the Llanarch Diner, Prendi High School and of course the Linc.

Doreen McGettigan

Doreen McGettigan


As I mentioned, Doreen McGettigan is the author of Bristol Boyz Stomp. Her publishing journey came out of a tragedy when her brother was murdered in Bristol, Pennsylvania, the victim of a brutal and unprovoked attack. Doreen’s book recounts the devastating impact of this tragedy. You can learn more about Doreen at her website at Her book, Bristol Boyz Stomp, is available on Amazon.

9 Responses to Book Review: The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

  1. Leslie Ehrin February 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Nice review of Silver Linings…. I’ve been interested in seeing the movie but Doreen’s Review made me want to read the book as well.

    She makes the point well about it offering the opportunity to start conversations about mental health, and suggests our societal inefficiencies in dealing with mental health issues. People shy away from confronting mental health issues as most aren’t equipped to know what to do or where to turn for support, in order to help someone they know who is suffering with mental illness.

    Since we are all affected by movies and books, it’s good to know that this story has some content worth pondering.

    Leslie Ehrin

  2. Annmarie Kelly February 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    There’s been so much hype about the movie that I’m glad to read your review of the book.

    When it’s for entertainment, I don’t always need to read something that is masterfully written. I love that it made you laugh and cry – that’s what I want when I want to be entertained. Now I’m as interested in reading it as I was in seeing the movie.

    I agree about opening up the discussion about mental illness. I have a mentally ill sibling who might be in better shape today if having bipolar disorder wasn’t so easily swept under the carpet by those who enable or escalated because of those who ignored it. So many things from gun crimes and homelessness could be different with acknowledgment, acceptance and proper treatment.

  3. Carol Bodensteiner February 6, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    I enjoyed the movie and Doreen’s review makes me think I’d enjoy the book as well. My sister suffered from depression and I wish I’d known how to talk about it with her. Thanks for the review!

  4. Author Aileen Stewart February 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    What a great review Doreen. You said just enough to create interest but not enough as to give anything away!

  5. andrea agresta February 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    Doreen’s account of the movie trumped it. And had I read the review before I saw the movie I would have gotten even more out of it. Beautifully done Doreen.

  6. Kelly Deeny February 8, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    Great review! I loved the film and am intrigued to read the novel. Knowing that it inspired a range of emotions just gives me one more reason to add it to my reading list.

  7. Samantha Fury February 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    I’d also like to comment on the fact that the book made you laugh and cry, not every author can make you laugh and cry and feel the emotion that they are feeling as they’re writing it. Also, I like the fact that you liked the movie and the book. Normally, when a movie is made from a book, something gets lost, and fans either end up saying the book was better, or that they hated the movie. It sounds like they did a good job turning the book into a movie. Thanks, Good interview.

    • Doreen McGettigan February 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

      It was a great adaption and also the first book to film production ever for David O’Russell. I am looking forward to his next project as well as Matthew’s next work which will also be a movie.

  8. Pam Mariani February 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Wonderful review! I can’t wait to read the book and see the movie. My friends were there at some of the film shots near Drexel Hill and around town, they had a ball ! Your review makes me feel that I am already apart of the characters “family”.
    Thanks Doreen, keep up the great work:)

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