Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Silver Linings Playbook [The Novel]

The Silver Linings PlaybookThe Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Usually, if you've already seen the movie of something, I don't recommend reading the book. Screenwriters are wise to choose the best and most exciting scenes of every novel, so if you pick up the book later, you'll already know where the story is heading. You may even envision the actors from the film in the roles of the characters in the book, which is never a good thing. You're not getting the full experience.

But Silver Linings Playbook is different. Early on through the book (About page 100 or so), I was honestly going to make the bold statement that the movie was better than the book. The character of the father, played so deftly by Robert DeNiro in the movie, is almost entirely unlikeable in the book. DeNiro made him a character you could sympathize with. Same with the Danny character, played by Chris Tucker in the film. He doesn't appear in true form until toward the end of the book, I really missed him and didn't think he'd be in the book at all, other than as a mention.

But then, the book took wild turns the movie didn't even bother to. Let it be known, you can definitely read the book and see the movie, since they have an entirely different feel to them. The movie, while depressing at parts, never really feels it because of the witty banter and character dynamics that the director, David O. Russell, likes to bring to most of his films. But the book by Matthew Quick, is, while humorous at times, a thoroughly depressing story. It also delves much deeper into Pat Peoples' (The protagonist, played by Bradley Cooper in the film) head, as all good novels do. That said, it doesn't really give much spotlight into the other characters' heads, which is one of the highlights of the film.

So again, they're different. Kind of like One Flew Over the Coockoo's Nest if you've ever read that. The POV changes everything.

So, in conclusion, if you adored the movie as much as I did, then I highly recommend reading the book. Not to compliment the film, but to extend it. It's a very touching story, and a beautiful novel, but one that's nowhere near as upbeat as its film counterpart. Neither is better, and both are fantastic, so you'll definitely like it if you love well-written characters and good stories. Pick it up.

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