Author: Matthew Quick
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Publication Date: Oct 2012 (Orig. 2009)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Adult Fiction
Book Description: 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!
First Line: “I don’t have to look up to know Mom is making another surprise visit.”
This book came highly recommended to me by my best friends Isis and Hecate and I finally picked it up because I came across a copy of the DVD. Honestly, without their high recommendations it would not have been a book that I would pick up to read. I was a bit hesitant at the beginning because of the writing style. I thoroughly enjoyed that the book is written as Pat’s diary because you get to see the world through his eyes. What threw me, though, was that I felt Pat sounded too young for his age. It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t reading the ramblings of a teenager but a man in his mid thirties. I realize that Pat, going through all that he was going through, would sound the way he did, but it was something I had to get used to and later on enjoyed. It was just surprising to me at first.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the way things played out. I loved seeing the people through Pat’s eyes and seeing how he reacted to certain things. It was a fast paced read and I didn’t want to put it down. Like Pat I was hopeful for the happy ending and while it wasn’t a perfect ending at least it was believable. I loved Cliff, Pat’s therapist, and his connection with Pat through football as well as being there to help him with his mental instability. I hated Patrick who let the outcomes of football games govern his interactions with his family.
I think this was a great book to see what it’s like to live with a mental illness. When OT came to town to play against the Eagles many people called him OD because of his attempted suicide. Like Pat I was angry at his family and friends who called him OD (I think Cliff included) who for some reason could not figure out why it would bother Pat so much. Unlike my friends I didn’t connect to this book on a deep level like they have. I really enjoyed it and it is a great book but since I don’t have a mental illness it didn’t touch me on a deeply personal level. I loved it’s window into living with a mental illness and trying to understand how the mind works for people who do. It has definitely left me with a book hangover and I’m not sure I’ll be ready to read another book for a while. It was funny, heart-warming, sad and yet soul-satisfying.
It was a great book and I also highly recommend it for those who know people struggling with depression or other mental issues. It’s a great way to see a glimpse at what they might be going through and a way to better understand what life may be like for them.
My Rating: ★★★★