“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 of 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.”
I saw the Silver Linings Playbook movie just under a year ago, and have been meaning to read the book since then. Of course, they are both very different from each other, and it’s always incredibly difficult to separate the portrayal of a character on screen when you’re trying to process a book – an actor has already brought them to life, and to distance that portrayal from reading about a character’s development in a book is next to impossible. Of course I pictured Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence as Pat and Tiffany throughout this entire book, and maybe that affects my opinion. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my favourite novels, but I saw the film version first, and many people suggest that my opinion of the book and its characters was influenced by having seen the movie first (and Carey Fucking Mulligan).
In the book version, you really get inside the head of Pat Peoples and really get a bigger grasp on his mental illness. Maybe Bradley Cooper will one day be considered a fine actor, but I see his Hangover character in even his new films, and found his portrayal of this character not at its full potential. Then again, a first person narration really allows you to get into the head of someone with a mental illness, and maybe this just can’t be captured on film, especially under the guise of a “romantic comedy.”
I read this book in under three hours. I enjoyed it, as I enjoyed the movie, but I have a general fascination with books about people with mental illnesses (for reasons I will not name here). If you haven’t seen the movie, allow yourself to read the book first. The movie definitely took advantage of having Robert De Niro play the dad and took several liberalities in changing his character for the screen, and the book is definitely not all about a dance competition.
I realize I am not going to reach my goal of 15. I’m at 9 now, and last year I read 10. Maybe I’ll get to 10 this year, though I only have two more days left and I’m generally a slow reader. If I do make it to 10, then that’s just a marker of how woefully consistent I can be.
Books read so far: 9