Pat has recently been released from “the bad place,” the mental institution where he was committed after an unspecified incident (at least initially). Now that he’s free, he wants to get back together with his wife, Nikki…even though everyone in his life seems to be less than optimistic about this. But Pat knows that his life is like a movie, which means that the happy ending is just around the corner.
This is Matthew Quick’s first novel (I loved the other two and am ridiculously excited to read his new one, which is out in the spring) and I wanted to wait and see the movie before reading this.
In case you haven’t seen the movie, it’s fantastic (Bradley Cooper plays Pat and Jennifer Lawrence plays Tiffany, a similarly damaged person who is Pat’s friend’s sister-in-law) and the book is even better. (As is generally the case.)
Tiffany is a much bigger part of the movie than she is in the book (at least at first; she starts to play a bigger role later) and in the book, much more attention is paid to Pat (and every male member of his family)’s love with the Eagles.
The movie is incredibly funny, but also very serious in parts. All Pat wants in the world is to get back together with Nikki, and he spends most of the book completely unwilling to accept the fact that their “apart time” is not going to end. He works out obsessively because she’s unhappy with his weight gain (which is anywhere between an extra 10-70 pounds, Pat tells us) and he starts to read the books that she teaches her high school English students, even though he finds most of them pretty depressing and awful. (Which is pretty understandable, really, given that it IS a high school English class.)
In case you’ve missed this book too, you should absolutely pick it up and then read his other two novels. And see the movie, too; it’s fantastic.