Genre: Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Mental Illness
Written by Matthew Quick
Published in 2008
The story is narrated by Pat, who just got out of a mental institute he calls “the bad place”. Pat moves back with his parents, and does a lot of workout, in order to be fit for the end of his “part time” with his wife Nikki, whom he loves very much. But no one seems to be really encouraging about that, his father won’t speak to him until their favourite team the Eagles wins the game, and his best friend Ronnie sets him up with his sister’s wife Tiffany, who has lost her husband when Pat was in the bad place. Tiffany starts following him around when he does his workout, and weirdly, everyone things he should date her, even his therapist…
I recently started listening to audiobooks on Audible, and this was the first one I got, and let me tell you, it was really an amazing experience! I think it made me enjoy the book even more, and I found the format really fitting to the story, since it is narrated at the first person. And maybe it’s just me, but I really found that the narrator was doing an excellent job at being Pat (if that makes sense.)
You may have seen the movie when it came out a few years ago. I know I have, and I wanted to read the book ever since I did. If you enjoyed the movie, go check out the book, you won’t regret it!
It is a really beatuful and moving story. Pat is really an endearing character, and the fact that he is the one who narrates the story makes it even more powerful in my opinion. I just wanted to give him a big hug throughout the entire book. And okay, maybe have him open his eyes and see the truth. He sometimes seems really naive, and it was refreshing to have such a narrator.
I also really like the other characters of the book, especially his psychiatrist. We see a lot of him, and he is rather important to the story. He just feels so human, and such a great character. The other one we see a lot of is Tiffany. She has her own problems, and even though she doesn’t exactly use the best methods, she really wants to help Pat get better. She is a really interesting and multi-layered character. It was really great to see that while Pat little by little gets better, and “grows up” (in a sort of way. Since he is in his thirties that may sound weird, but his voice sometimes felt child-like, and really had the impression that he was growing up, on the path to getting better).
What I also really enjoyed about this book is how important family and friends are to Pat, and to his process of getting better. I loved how Pat had this little world of his own with his friends and family, and they were all trying their best for him, genuinely. I think it’s part of what makes this book so beautiful. (If I could join their Christmas dinner by the fire I would honestly love that.)
The only thing I regretted is how much of this book speaks about sports, since I’m not really a sports person. But that’s not very important in the end, and that’s only my biaised opinion! Okay, and I also found at some points that the story could go a little faster, but overall, I totally enjoyed it.
Contemporary lovers who are looking for a moving story and people who like books about mental illness.