I believe I said The Hunger Games was the first book I had ever read after feeling provoked to do so by watching the film. Somehow Jennifer Lawrence has that effect on me, as I found myself reading The Silver Linings Playbook after watching the film on a long-haul flight to Florida a few days ago.
And, unlike The Hunger Games, I preferred the film. I like the idea, and I do like the writing. Written in Pat’s point of view, you can feel the desperation and the longing for Nikki, the almost childlike innocence that clouds his mind now that he searches for Silver Linings. He rambles, he explains things thoroughly, he justifies everything – you’re in on his train of thought.
That’s the extent of my love for the book. There is far more focus on the Eagles (the chant grew pretty annoying to read after a while), and there’s far more focus on Tiffany and Pat as a couple. It’s consistently reinforced that Tiffany might be interested, or is interested, and that takes away from what I loved about the film. Yes it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen, but don’t keep reminding me all the time.
I know that all books are twisted to suit a visual format, and that not every book works seamlessly as a film. So, yes, the book may have been good as a stand alone without the film to compare it to. But I really do not like the plot set up in comparison.
Where Pat’s absence brings luck in the film, it brings bad luck in the book. I had it all in my head, the pros and cons of the book, but I’ve read so much since then it’s all kind of disappeared.
I don’t think I’d have liked the book regardless of the film comparison, and I hate to constantly compare a book to a film (and, let’s face it, I’ve usually never seen the film anyway) but this really fell flat.