Title: The Good Luck of Right Now
Author: Matthew Quick
Publication: Harper, February 11th 2014
Format: Hardcover, 281 pages
Source: Own copy, Won on giveaway by Snow Drop Dreams
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For thirty-eight years, Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother. When she gets sick and dies, he has no idea how to be on his own. His redheaded grief counselor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded in his mom, Saturday mass, and the library learn how to fly?
Bartholomew thinks he’s found a clue when he discovers a “Free Tibet” letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother’s underwear drawer. In her final days, mom called him Richard—there must be a cosmic connection. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate letters. Jung and the Dalai Lama, philosophy and faith, alien abduction and cat telepathy, the Catholic Church and the mystery of women are all explored in his soul-baring epistles. But mostly the letters reveal one man’s heartbreakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own.
A struggling priest, a “Girlbrarian,” her feline-loving, foul-mouthed brother, and the spirit of Richard Gere join the quest to help Bartholomew. In a rented Ford Focus, they travel to Canada to see the cat Parliament and find his biological father . . . and discover so much more.
Misfit Review:A story of a man writing letters to Richard Gere? Interesting indeed. At first, I couldn't help but get confused why exactly would Bartholomew Neil want to write to Richard Gere? Maybe this thought lasted for just the first page. I got the idea that it was his form of coping up, something that no one would understand. Richard Gere, in this novel, seems very approachable, even in the thoughts of one man.
The novel is heart-warming. Queer and heart-warming. Each character is built up on struggle. Never did the story focused on Bartholomew and his ways of dealing with the world without his mother, but also of the people surrounding him; those he interacts with and those he actually cares about. People might think that patching things such as character build-ups are easy, but with this novel, it just shows how easy the flow of interactions are between the characters. What I love about the characterizations most of all was the pain they all suffered, though in different forms. I am such a sucker for psychologically injured characters. Somehow like his characters in Silver Linings Playbook, all suffering from something around psychological to emotional trauma, Matthew Quick digs deep into this kind of subject matter, though I've only quite witnessed it with these two novels. I have the rest of his novels and have yet to start with them. The consequences of school and book blogging. I will try my hardest.
Anyway, back to the topic, The Good Luck of Right Now is an interesting book that not only touches the subject on relationships but also how philosophies from those in the Buddhist teachings and even from Bartholomew's mom, shape his character. The Good Luck of Right Now, as a mantra, is something that I might carry with me until I die. It's simple, not complex with the additions of books on Philosophy and whatnot. Just a simple, humble teaching that states, (in my own words), If bad things happen to you, someone out there receives the wonderful blessing that you didn't get in that exact moment. You might have gotten robbed but somewhere in the streets of Haiti, relief goods are being shipped to hungry children, that sort of thing. Though at first, I was quite skeptical about it. I mean, I guess the reason it's called The Good Luck of Right Now, is that, it is never for you to take in that very moment and that it is never meant for the person who understands. I don't know. That's how I clearly understood it. I guess, perspectives towards this book will play a major role on what exactly others would think of it.
As I stated, characters are bizarre, queer and out of it. Aliens? Yes. You may encounter some at this book. Characters like Max, The Girlbrarian and of course, sweet old Father McNamee, Matthew Quick's writing style is easy on the eyes, not hard to comprehend though you might be taken into a certain scenario into another like a whirlwind. That, I wasn't really a fan of. But nonetheless, this is a fascinating book to read, with surprises and interesting plot lines and as I've said, characters that you will all love.
I sincerely recommend this book for those who wish to read an odd, light read. It is perfect to be read on a lazy afternoon. I also think that Young Adult novel fans should read this as well. It can give a lot of grounds to think of different writers' perspective on things.I seriously suggest you don't limit your scope on YA... Just suggesting Misfit Booknerds.
Anyway, much love to Matthew Quick and his new novel! I hope you guys can check it out!
About The AuthorMatthew Quick is the author of The Silver Linings Playbook, which was made into an Academy Award-winning film, and the young adult novels Sorta Like a Rock Star, Boy21, and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. He is married to the novelist-pianist Alicia Bessette.
(Author Bio from Barnes and Noble)
Follow Matthew Quick on Twitter: @MatthewQuick21