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review 2018-01-01 12:52
Its Not About Happy Endings But What We Want In Closure...
The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick

Truth - I had watched the movie version first and I do find it oddly attracted to the movie in many ways (the performance, the story, the theme) that I truly enjoy it a lot. What I did not was reading the book first. I had this with me for a year over now and last month, I decided (based on a mention) to read it and it was then, I never thought how honest this book turns out to be. There are many realistic themes about this book that makes it not just sad but emotional, troubled but relief and undeniable but real... because in reality, there are no happy endings. Just closure.

 

Pat Peoples was released from an institution he could not remember why he was there in the first place. At age 34, staying with his parents is the only way he could recuperate his mental health. With a football season starting, Pat has to improve himself physically and started reading books to return to his wife Nikki, so that his 'apart time' is over. He can't wait to go back to his wife until he befriends Tiffany, his friend's wife sister and the secrets they both block and keep together in their own way to come to terms with their hearts and mind.

 

Its not easy to write characters that are broken and in ways, how damage they become. I can relate a lot with Pat Peoples and most of all, people who do not understand him well. Much like how TiffanyPats and his family and friends, the joy and happiness and the opposite of it. The anger and opinions about the books Pat reads and how he needs help from people he never expect. Its what I believe why this book works because its real. For me - a real positive message is better than a hopeless positive message advice given and for a long time now, I never thought I would read a book that really hits it. Although the movie adaptation and the book had a lot of difference in terms of content, both in their own way is good except I like the book better.

 

My first 2018 book rated very highly because this book makes me feel in so many ways that I can say I loved it a lot and its one of my favorite reads. I would highly recommend to readers who doesn't believe happy endings are real but believe that we are all part of life to who wants to be happy but not in a Disney way.

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text 2017-12-14 12:45
Char's Horror Corner: Top Ten Audiobooks of 2017!
Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell,Matt Godfrey
The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Between Two Fires - Christopher Buehlman
The Memory of Running - Recorded Books LLC,Ron McLarty,Ron McLarty
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown
You Will Know Me: A Novel - Megan Abbott,Lauren Fortgang
Behind Her Eyes: A Novel - Sarah Pinborough
The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel - Matthew Quick,Inc. Blackstone Audio, Inc.,Darwin Porter
Empire Falls - Richard Russo

 

This has been the year of the audiobook for me. I believe I've listened to more of them this year than ever before. And boy, this year brought two of my favorite authors to life through the power of voice. Let's get on with it, shall we? (Oh, and click the cover to see my original review!)

 

 Blackwater by Michael McDowell, narrated by Matt Godfrey

1. My number one audio of the year, (and indeed, of ALL time) is Blackwater. Written by the fabulous Michael McDowell and performed by Matt Godfrey, this epic tale spans generations of the Caskey family and their matriarch, who may or may not be altogether human. The star of this show is McDowell's writing-he brings his sharp wit and his knowledge of family dynamics to the table and then Matt Godfrey brings it all home. Blackwater clocks out at just over 30 hours of listening, and I was never, ever bored. 

 

Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell,Matt Godfrey 

 

 The Lesser Dead written and performed by Christopher Buehlman

2. Christopher Buehlman was unknown to me at the beginning of 2017. Now, in December, I count him among my favorite authors. I've read or listened to ALL of his novels since April, starting with Those Across the River and ending with The Lesser Dead. Mr. Buehlman narrates The Lesser Dead himself and in most cases, I don't think that's wise. In this case, he knocked it out of the park. I later learned that he performs at Renaissance Fairs, sometimes as a storyteller and sometimes as a professional insultor. Perhaps his experiences with performing has honed his voicing skills because this book was KILLER. After I finished listening, I "rewound" it, so to speak, and listened to the last chapter again. Oh my goodness, oh so killer!

 

The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman 

 

Born to Run written and narrated by The Boss

3. I'm not a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, but I'm a bigger fan since I listened to his memoir. I have always been a fan of his songwriting abilities and it seems that that skill transferred well to writing this book. I'm sure a true Springsteen fan would get even more out of this book than I did, but I sure did love listening to that husky voice relate how he got started, learned to dance, (to pick up women), and how he struggled to get and keep a band, not to mention a marriage, together.

 

Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen 

 

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman, narrated by Steve West

4. Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman, narrated by Steve West was totally and completely INSANE! Some truly scary scenes were depicted in this story and thanks to the vivid writing and expressive voicing, I can still picture them clearly in my head. 

 

Between Two Fires - Christopher Buehlman

 

 The Memory of Running, written and performed by Ron McClarty

5. The Memory of Running, written and narrated by Ron McClarty. I got turned on to Ron McClarty because he narrated Empire Falls by Richard Russo. Then, when I looked for additional performances by him I discovered The Memory of Running. From what I gather, it was originally available only as an audio book which Stephen King highly recommended. Eventually it became available in paper form as well. Anyway, Mr. McClarty used to play a recurring judge on Law & Order, but writing and narrating is most definitely his forte. I loved this weird tale of memories, acceptance and bicycling across the United States.

 

 The Memory of Running - Recorded Books LLC,Ron McLarty,Ron McLarty

 

 Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown, narrated by Matt Godfrey

6. A thoroughly entertaining collection of short stories, some of them super short, but all of them a lot of fun. For the most part, I prefer reading short stories rather than listening to them, but Matt Godfrey's talent made me change my mind about that. 

 

Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown

 

 

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott, narrated by Lauren Fortgang

7. Competitive teenage girls are just about the scariest monsters out there, and I know scary!

 

You Will Know Me: A Novel - Megan Abbott,Lauren Fortgang

 

 

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough, narrated by cast

8. The book everyone was talking about at the beginning of the year! Usually, I avoid those like the plague. However, the audio was available at the library, so I decided to give it a go. I vividly remember listening to this while I was cleaning and then, for the last half hour or so, I just sat on the sofa, stunned. 

 

Behind Her Eyes: A Novel - Sarah Pinborough

 

 

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, narrated by Ray Porter

9. Audible was giving this one away for free, so what did I have to lose? I loved the movie, but as usual, the book was a little different. That said, I loved the book too! 

 

The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel - Matthew Quick,Inc. Blackstone Audio, Inc.,Darwin Porter

 

 

Empire Falls by Richard Russo, performed by Ron McClarty

10. This book came to me highly recommended by a fellow reader. Even though a book about small town life with no evil children or haunted houses is really not my thing, Empire Falls MADE IT my thing. I've since listened to two more audiobooks of Richard Russo's work, (Everybody's Fool and Nobody's Fool), and I tracked down McClarty's Memory of Running, (see above.) Now, I just need to track down the HBO series of this FANTASTIC novel. 

 

Empire Falls - Richard Russo 

 

This year I've learned the following:

 

Ron McClarty and Matt Godfrey can both narrate the hell out of any story, and I will happily listen to them perform their grocery lists.

Authors sometimes CAN perform their own stories and do it better than anyone else.

 

I've finally accepted that audiobooks are an acceptable form of reading and I look forward to finding new narrators and discovering new worlds to listen to in 2018.

 

Thanks for reading if you've stayed this far! I hope you'll join me in enjoying audiobooks in 2018! 

 

 

 

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review 2017-11-24 18:40
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, narrated by Ray Porter
The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel - Matthew Quick,Inc. Blackstone Audio, Inc.,Darwin Porter

 

Thanks to Audible for offering this audiobook free, way back when. I finally got around to listening to it and I loved it. It even made me tear up at the end. It's very different from the movie, but excellent in its own right.

 

Highly recommended!

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review 2015-08-05 23:37
The Silver Linings Playbook
The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick

A football fanatic named Pat has just been released from a neural health facility. He’s eager to reconcile with his ex-wife and get back to watching his favorite football team, but the world seems so different. He soon learns that he has been in the facility for four years, and he can’t remember what happened during that time.

 

I went into this book knowing nothing about it. I haven’t seen the movie, and I didn’t read the synopsis, but a lot of people have recommended this book to me, so I thought, Why not?

 

I was pleasantly surprised. The story is so quirky that I flew through it. I finished most of the book in a day because I couldn’t put it down. It’s a quick and entertaining read.

 

Pat is an unusual narrator. He’s 35 years old, but he has the mind of a child. I enjoyed seeing the world from his perspective and reading about his family dynamics. He’s very reliant on his mother and brother, but his father wants nothing to do with him. The only time that his father will speak to him is when they are watching football. It’s an interesting relationship. I felt bad for Pat because he really wants to please his father, but his father isn’t interested in interacting with him.

 

I really like that this book gives the reader a glimpse into “football culture.” I’m not a football fan, but I know that some people take it very seriously. The scenes of Pat and his family during the games are intense, hilarious, and believable.

 

Even though I enjoyed reading from Pat’s point-of-view, I found the inconsistencies in his character frustrating. The author never tells the reader why Pat is so childish. Before Pat went into the neural health facility, he had a wife, a job, a house, and a college education. I assumed that his childishness came from a brain injury/brain damage that he got as an adult. But, the author never says, and Pat’s behavior is inconsistent. For example, he’s capable of reading and understanding classic American literature, but he has a very childish vocabulary. Also, he can analyze the complex plots of books, but he easily believes that a burglar broke in and stole nothing but his wedding photos. That seems odd to me. Not fully understanding Pat’s behavior was frustrating enough to distract me from the story.

 

Overall, I did like this peculiar book. Reading it has made me curious about the movie. I’ve heard that it’s very good, so I’ll have to track down a copy.

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review 2015-05-27 14:03
"It hurts to look at the clouds, but it also helps, like most things that cause pain.”


"Life is hard, and children have to be told how hard life can be…So they will be sympathetic to others. So they will understand that some people have it harder than they do and that a trip through this world can be a wildly different experience, depending on what chemicals are raging through one’s mind.”


“If clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining that reminds me to keep on trying.”


“I am practicing being kind over being right.”

“Life is random and fucked-up and arbitrary, until you find someone who can make sense of it all for you— if only temporarily.”
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