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Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
The Orphan Master's Son

The Silver Linings Playbook (movie tie-in edition)

The Silver Linings Playbook (movie tie-in edition) - I had not heard about THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK until it began to take the world of Oscar buzz by storm in the form of its adaptation, Silver Linings Playbook (why they dropped THE? No idea). But you know me (well, probably not) – I am a sucker for making sure I read books before I see the adaptation, so I can generally be very disappointed and spend the rest of the day grumbling. Of course, the movie isn’t even playing here, but I decided to read this one because I was bored, it was short, and I love a good psychiatric drama.THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is the story of Pat. He’s recently been released from a psychiatric facility and is determined to get back his wife, Nikki, after some apart time. His mother is coddling him, his father refuses to talk to him, and the world has changed so much since he went in. And he can’t remember exactly what happened that left him in the facility. But when his best friend’s sister in law enters his life, he’s in for more than he ever expected.The adaptation of this book is sure to become an Oscar nominee (if only because Jennifer Lawrence is Hollywood’s darling at the moment). In reading the book, I realized why it would make such a great movie. Although the writing is comparable to the narration of the 5 year old hero in Emma Donoghue’s ROOM, the story itself is compelling, intricate, and well thought out. The story is fast paced, too – it won’t take you but two or three hours to finish, and the story zips along at a great pace. Pat himself is a wonderful character, well conceived and built upon the foundation of having this psychiatric ailment that has left him with delusions and a bit of amnesia. Although I wish I had known more about his life before his nervous break, I made do with his diary entries, written to get back his lost wife. They were heartfelt and heartbreaking at the same time – trying to put together a life that he once had only to lose in a freak moment.He is surrounded with an interesting cast of family, friends, and curious onlookers. My favorite was his mother, determined to help her son put together some semblance of a life while dealing with her own troubles at home in the form of her husband. We also have Tiffany, Pat’s best friend’s wife’s sister who has gone through her own torment after losing her husband.One off putting part? The romance. I didn’t get it, and it seemed rather forced, like it wasn’t meant to happen until the author changed his mind at the last moment and said, “Well, we need romance.” I liked the characters involved, just not the outcome. I am happy I read this, even if seeing the movie is a ways off since it’s not playing around here. It was charming for sure, and it left me feeling a bit more hopeful that my life isn’t as bad as I make it out to be, that things could always be worse. I could spend time in a psychiatric facility, for instance. And I could be stalked by a hallucination of Kenny G.VERDICT: Even though the romance seemed tacked on, THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is a heartwarming story filled with energy and intellect for those seeking a new slice of life.