Matthew Quick's debut novel has a wonderful narrative voice that shares the almost unbelievably positive energy of the protagonist. Pat, our hero, has just been released from a mental hospital though he is not exactly sure how long he's been away. Pining for his wife, Niki, Pat aims to win her back by losing weight and being a better person (specifically, he tries to "be kind instead of right").
The most amazing thing about Quick's novel is the pace. I found myself reading just "one more" chapter until I was at the end. The plot moves forward and yet the depth of Pat's character is clear and beautiful.
Much can be said about the role of football in the novel, but I can't say that non-football fans will be turned off. Quick's characters are die-hard Eagles fans, but Quick manages to render the tailgating scenes and football games (both live and televised) with a good sense of restraint. Which is to say, nothing sports-related in the novel should feel unnecessary to the non-Eagles fan. And Quick, despite being an Eagles fan, doesn't paint the fans with a wholly positive brush.
All in all, this was a bright, joyous novel that will please readers of all kinds. Get a copy today!