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by Matthew Quick.

4*

Pat tells you his story in his own, sweet, child-like way. He’s spent a few years in an institution after some kind of a breakdown (? – we don’t know that much about Pat yet, I’m only half-way through and he hasn’t told us a lot about himself yet). He believes his life is a movie, written and directed by God. He’s being haunted in the night by Kenny G who terrifies him.

Pat’s so angsty and damaged and utterly adorable. He only wants to ‘practice kindness’. His mom, who adores him, fought to take him home from the institution –  The Bad Place – and get him into therapy.

Obsessional body-building aside, Pat is very like many of those angst-riddled men of fanfic, so very loveable, the poor mad baby. TSLP reads like the essence of every damaged-angsty [insert favourite fandom wooby] fic I’ve ever read, which makes reading it a strangely familiar, comforting, thoroughly delightful experience. Pat is so angsty and damaged and utterly adorable. He knows he screwed up before the breakdown, with his rages and selfish demands. Now he only wants to ‘practice kindness’ as he moves through his small world, making friends wherever he goes – with his mom and his football-crazy brothers, with his analyst Cliff and his friends, the equally football-crazy, all-Indian, Asian Invasion Bus. Even with his sister-in-law, the deranged Tiffany, who, it seems, everyone thinks would be the perfect partner for him.

Hilariously funny, touching, delightful and heart-breaking, and possibly the best book I’ve read this year.

And the sun is out, the sky is blue, it’s beautifu-ul… I should wrap up warm and go for a walk. Just want to read a wee bit more. It’s been a while since I read a book in a day but I just might with this one.

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