“If clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining that reminds me to keep on trying.”
I have to admit, I was expecting a lot. I watched the film before reading the book, something I never normally do, and was so pumped to read it. However I kind of found it lacking. I couldn’t get on with Pat and thought his constant talking about ‘apart time’ was a bit grating. The other characters were good; the father was suitably horrible but this was balanced out by his laddish brother, his mother represented the emotional strain mental illness can put on a family.
The plot follows Pat through a series of diary style entries documenting his time after being in a psychiatric hospital. He is apart from his wife, and desperately wants to get back with her and constantly strives for self improvement to illustrate his progress. He befriends Tiffany, a woman coping with the loss of her husband, blunt, quiet and always lurking in the background of Pat’s life she is his constant rock. It also documents his relationship with his family as they come to terms with Pat’s new regime of fitness, self improvement and his adjustment to life outside the hospital.
I found the second half of the book far easier to read than the first half, furthermore the characters got a bit more likeable the more you read. The plot picked up and I finally got over my hate of the words ‘apart time’ and used to Pat’s style of writing. There is a lot of American Football in which I kind of understood because Lee flipping loves it, so I was able to ask him a couple of questions. The whole family supports the local team The Eagles and the plot revolves around their successes and losses.
It reminded me very much of The Perks of Being A Wallflower, which I liked far more, but then I do love a good teenage-angst-style book. I’m glad I read it, but probably won’t re-read it, unlike the film which I will probably re-watch pretty soon.
I found the film far more emotional, I’m not sure why, but I’ve always cried way more at films than books. I found both Pat and Tiffany much more likeable, their relationship was funnier, deeper and more heart warming than in the book. The dad is a completely different character, played brilliantly by Robert DeNiro – a man obsessed with luck and superstition in the success of The Eagles, in the book he is harsher and removed from Pat and his mother.
Reading the book makes you realise how much changes when things get adapted to film, it was far more light hearted and uplifting compared to the book, with characters being almost completely changed. No bad thing, but I kind of wish I’d read the book so I wasn’t imagining his dad as Robert DeNiro and Pat as Bradley Cooper...