Editor's Lit: Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Updated: 2 Jul 2013

Time Out says

Rating: 4/5
RM35.90, Picador

It’s hard to ignore a book-turn-film that’s a box office hit. That’s just what ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ by Matthew Quick became two years after it was published. In the silver screen version the ever rugged Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence from the ‘Hunger Games’ fame portray the main characters. Although, it has been said, the film version is rather different from the book but we doubt the plot will run far from the original.

So, here’s where two mentally unbalanced people collide. He’s bipolar, in denial about his divorce, fresh out of a psychiatric ward, living with his parents and she’s driven into near insanity due to grief, fresh out of intensive shrink sessions, living in her brother’s outhouse. Can you see where this is going?

Anyway, he’s set to win his ex-wife back, get his life back on track and exercising like the demon to look fit. She, on the other hand, is determined to win him over and very simply, have a life (preferably with him). Yes, it’s a love story. How different is this one from the millions of love stories out there, you ask?

Their story is honest, simultaneously immature and grown up and quite touching. There’s no chocolates and flowers, no Hollywood courtship with a symphony of violins playing in the background. There are, however, running (as a sport, you've got to read the book to get this), giving in to emotional stress, break downs and discovering an unexpected friendship – someone who gets you. That, you have to admit, happens only once in each lifetime, if at all.

There’s substance in the lightness of Quick’s prose and a heart-breaking tone beneath his humour. You can’t help but be understanding with the bipolar volatility and sympathetic with both their irrational behaviour and thoughts. In short, you’d want to give them each a hug by the time you’ve read the last word in the book. Su Aziz

This book is available at any Borders book stores. For more info, see website.

Tags: Books