Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Good Luck of Right Now; Matthew Quick

 The Good Luck of Right Now, Matthew Quick
Harper - 2014
From the author of Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick's soon to be released latest novel, The Good Luck of Right Now, will also be hitting the big screen in the future. It's a quirky, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, story about making the best of life when bad things happen.

Bartholomew Neil, 38, is the story's protagonist. He has led a sheltered life living all the while with his mother. He has never held a job and has no friends. He's smart, but when he mother dies after a battle with brain cancer, he has no idea how to navigate the world outside. He appears to suffer from Asperger's, but we never know for sure. We only know something is different about him that his limited his options in life.

The last few days before his mother passed away, she began to call him Richard. Since Richard Gere, the actor, was her idol, and he later finds a letter from R.G. in his mom's underwear drawer after she dies, Bartholomew is inspired to share his deepest thoughts with the actor seeking guidance. He believes since his mother embraced the Buddhist philosophy, as did RG, he might be the one to help him figure things out. His mom believed that when one person is experience good luck, someone else is having bad luck or suffering. In fact, when someone stole his mother's wallet, she was okay with it saying someone else was going to be able to buy food for their family because of it.

Bartholomew is given a grief counselor named Wendy who is also troubled, and she's someone he doesn't think he needs to be spending time with. She encourages him to try a support group, which he does reluctantly, and as he steps out a bit he meets a few other quirky and damaged characters like himself. Besides Wendy, there is Max, a foul-mouthed, young man with Tourette's whose grieving the death of his cat, Father McNamee, a defrocked alcoholic priest who comes to stay at Bart's house, and there is "girlibrarian", (Elizabeth) who he is somewhat attracted to. As their fractured lives converge, each is transformed in someway through the experience.

I liked this novel an awful lot and can already see that it would make a great movie.  Initially, I had a bit of an issue with the flow. I found it a little distracting as the story is rolled out in the form or letters or random thoughts written by the protagonist to Richard Gere.  However, Bartholomew and all of the characters are just so fully fleshed out and interesting, it didn't take me long to beginning caring about them and their issues and rooting for them to triumph.  It's a story that reminded me how important it is to remember that when life throws you some lemons you must force yourself to make.... lemonade.

Refreshing - read it. - 4.5/5 stars
(review copy and eGalley received from publisher & Edelweiss)

16 comments:

  1. On my wish list. Enjoyed your review.
    Harvee
    Book Dilettante

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  2. I have never been disappointed with him even though I am skeptical of a novel full of letters to Richard Gere. Kind of reminds me of one of the episodes of New Girl, LOL. But I'm sure I'll get to it because it is Matthew Quick!

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  3. I think I have this one! I'm really anxious to try Quick's work.

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  4. I loved the movie Silver Linings Playbook...I should read the book! This one sounds great. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Oh, this does sound good. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I like the characters already.

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  6. This book does sound quirky and good--might be my kind of novel! I loved Silver Linings Playbook (the movie).

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  7. I really must read him at some point. He seems popular around blogs. I still haven't seen Silver Linings Playbook either.

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  8. I cannot wait to read this one. I loved Matthew Quick's Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and need to give Silver Linings Playbook a try.

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  9. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Diane! I haven't read the author before--or seen the movie Silver Lining Playbook, although I do want to. This sounds like such a different sort of book. I'm not a huge fan of Richard Gere, I admit, but I'm curious enough to look past that and give this one a try.

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  10. I like the sound of this book especially the quirky, eccentric characters. I'm not a Richard Gere fan but I still think the storyline sounds pretty interesting. I haven't read Quick's work before. I saw the Silver Linings Playbook movie and thought it was great.
    I enjoyed your review, Diane. This book is going on my list...Thanks!

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  11. I am looking forward to reading this book. I have enjoyed all his other books. Wonderful review.

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  12. I think the story sounds pretty interesting too!

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  13. Sounds very intriguing! New author for me too.

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  14. There seems to be a nice cluster of 'feel good' books around at the moment, to balance all the darker stuff -- I like the sound of this one a lot.

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  15. Sounds good! Another book I want to get to sooner rather than later.

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  16. Not surprisingly I have been taking an interest in characters who are different and may be on the spectrum :) I'll have to add this to my list.

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