I Name the Next “Silver Linings Playbook” Follow-Up


It’s easy for people to mock the stock-formula book title schemes of writers like “The Bourne Identity” author Robert Ludlum (his Wikipedia page says “The (Proper Noun) (Noun)”) or “The Firm” author John Grisham (in a story by BJ Novak, he’s enraged when his publisher releases his latest novel as “The Thing” – a placeholder title he gives all his novels and forgot to replace as a formality when he turned it in). Continue reading


Every Hand’s A Winner


I’ve been a male cheerleader for Matthew Quick’s writing since the quirkily insightful and laugh-out-loud-worthy Silver Linings Playbook, which he followed up a few months back with the Young Adult novel Forgive Me Leonard Peacock (which I reviewed). Now he’s back with another novel for grown-ups, The Good Luck of Right Now. It follows his trend of an emotionally damaged main character most people would call “different” on a journey of self-discovery with a colorful cast of friends. Does it find another strange formula for meaning, or just re-hash the same old ground? Continue reading

The Gray Skies Playbook


I loved Matthew Quick’s last novel The Silver Linings Playbook so much I wanted to make it my Facebook background (this means something to my generation). I even settled for a promo of the movie adaptation. The movie was a bland and by-the-numbers distillation that lost much of the weirdness and complex ambiguities which made the book so special, and the book was special indeed.

Now Quick, a former high school teacher, has dropped his next jam: a YA / Teen novel released about two weeks ago with a teenage protagonist planning a murder-suicide. The promise of an adolescent voice with Quick’s narration was enough to get my hopes up; the question is, does Forgive Me Leonard Peacock come through? Continue reading