Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on September 2, 2008
Challenge Theme: A book made into a movie you’ve already seen
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Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him—the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being hunted by Kenny G!
In this enchanting novel, Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat’s mind, showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective.
I remember watching this movie years ago and really liking it but when I started reading the book I realized I did not remember the story all that well. The only part I really remembered was the dancing competition part, and even that I didn’t accurately recall. For that I am glad I chose to read this book and I now want to go back and re-watch the movie. Also from what I remembered it was a happy go lucky movie but clearly that impression wasn’t correct. This book deals with some heavy stuff about mental health. I really enjoyed Pat as a narrator even though at times I myself getting frustrated with how naive Pat was. It made me feel for Pat but also for those around him, well aside from his father who just made me mad. The book had moments that made me smile and moments that made me want to burst out in tears which to me is a marking of a good book. I also adored the ending. Pat found someone who he can belong to that understands his issues and loves him no matter what. I loved the final imagery of Pat & Tiffany lying in the middle of a frozen soccer field looking for that silver lining.
“I don’t want to stay in the bad place, where no one believes in silver linings or love or happy endings.”
“Life is not a PG feel-good movie. Real life often ends badly. Literature tries to document this reality, while showing us it is still possible for us to endure nobly.”
“I am practicing being kind over being right.”
“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.”
“She looks sad. She looks angry. She looks different from everyone else I know—she cannot put on that happy face others wear when they know they are being watched. She doesn’t put on a face for me, which makes me trust her somehow.”
“You need to know it’s your actions that will make you a good person, not desire.”
“Most people lose the ability to see silver linings even though they are always there above us almost every day.”
“I think all it really takes for different people to get along is a common rooting interest and a few beers.”
“In my arms is a woman who has given me a Skywatcher’s Cloud Chart, a woman who knows all my secrets, a woman who knows just how messed up my mind is, how many pills I’m on, and yet she allows me to hold her anyway. There’s something honest about all this, and I cannot imagine any other woman lying in the middle of a frozen soccer field with me – in the middle of a snowstorm even – impossibly hoping to see a single cloud break free of a nimbostratus.”