The Good Luck of Right Now (Paperback)
Harper Paperbacks, 9780062285614, 304pp.
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
March 2014 Indie Next List
— Lynn Beeson, Loganberry Books, Shaker Hts, OH
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From Matthew Quick, the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook, comes The Good Luck of Right Now, a funny and tender story about family, friendship, grief, acceptance, and Richard Gere—an entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love.
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.
Praise For The Good Luck of Right Now: A Novel…
“It’s impossible not to love each of these deeply flawed characters….As funny as it is touching, Quick’s latest effort is on par with Silver Linings.”
“A page turner...Easy to read but difficult to characterize. Part fairy tale and part vision quest…[it] could more aptly be called an adult-onset bildungsroman….Quick, a master scene-setter, details Neil’s personal tragedy in prose that is simultaneously funny and devastating.”
“Original, compelling, uplifting. Quick celebrates the power of ordinary, flawed human beings to rescue themselves and each other. His writing is shot through with wit and humanity and an ultimately optimistic view of people, without ever becoming sentimental.”
“Mr. Quick ventures to the edges of society,...He rewards us with an irresistible urge to think the best of humanity, to understand not only the need to walk in someone else’s shoes but also the altruistic power attained from doing so.”
“Funny, touching, wise, and ultimately life-affirming, THE GOOD LUCK OF RIGHT NOW is quite possibly the greatest feel-good misfit-road story I’ve had the good luck to read. If you loved THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, this book is for you.”
“Everything I relish in a story: a flawed but sympathetic protagonist, a page-turning plot, and a cast of emotionally scarred characters for whom I rooted wholeheartedly. I loved this novel from its quirky and unconventional opening to its poignant, tear-inducing conclusion.”
“A knockout of a book that has something for everyone: humor, wisdom, plot twists, wholly original characters and Richard Gere.”
“Life-affirming….Begins as a character study and morphs into a road novel, blending humorous set pieces-pack a Canadian hotel with UFO abductees and there’s bound to be fun-with poignant revelations about the novel’s main characters. It’s an unabashed tear-jerker.”
“[Quick] has a rare skill in portraying characters with mental illness, which, when coupled with his deft hand at humor, produces compelling and important prose….fans of Wally Lamb, Mark Haddon, or Winston Groom will appreciate.”
“Quick returns to his offbeat, optimistic view of the world as only he can….an endearing celebration of the human spirit….Fans of bestselling author Matthew Quick’s The Silver Linings Playbook and its Academy Award-winning film adaptation will not be disappointed.”
“Quick, the author of The Silver Linings Playbook, provides another offbeat gem populated with eccentric, fallible, intensely human characters….Humor, pathos, and quirky bends in the road define they odyssey, making it increasingly clear that it is all about the journey, not the destination.”
“Often funny, with humor that arises naturally from Bartholomew’s deadpan, literal view of the world….It’s easy to wish the best for Bartholomew.”
“A gentle, wise, poignant and funny story about the nature of reality and the daily strength required of the brokenhearted to live in it. Quick makes no misstep; each scene, each character, each storyline is perfectly realized and seamlessly woven into the narrative….A delight from beginning to end.”
“Quirky, compelling….Reads rather like A Confederacy of Dunces removed 1,200 miles northeast. As with that novel, it’s impossible to come away unamused by The Good Luck of Rights Now’s kindhearted presentation of the misadventures of a damaged soul.”
“This book channels the same screwball sad sweetness we loved so much in Silver Linings.”
“Quirky, feel-good fiction….A whimsical, clever narrative.”
“A deeply nuanced portrait of an unconventional family unit, friendships of necessity, and life’s give and take.”
“Often marked as ‘crazy’ by those around them, [Quick’s] oddball protagonists…say out loud-and act upon-thoughts many of us have had, if perhaps kept inside….[With] The Good Luck of Right Now, Quick has done it again.”
“A quirky coming-of-age story….Quick writes with an engaging intimacy, capturing his narrator’s innocence and off-kilter philosophy, and the damaged souls in orbit around him.”
“The Good Luck of Right Now will inspire and entertain with the power of kindness, love and even the universe….a very enjoyable read for me, so much so that I delayed reading the final chapters not wanting it to end.”
“A plucky debut novel…Quick fills the pages with so much absurd wit and true feeling that it’s impossible not to cheer for his unlikely hero.”
“Matthew Quick has created quite the heartbreaker of a novel in The Silver Linings Playbook.”
“Pat is a fearless narrator; even his most outlandish delusions are so candidly expressed that the reader teeters between fear of heartbreak and the hope that Pat might actually yearn his way into happiness. It’s a charmingly nerve-wracking combination…The book is cinematic, but the writing still shimmers.”
“I found him [Pat Peoples] compelling and fascinating, and I found myself not only caring about him but rooting for him unashamedly, which, for an author is, I believe, what they mean by scoring a tour de force.”
“Tender, appealing…funny and satisfying.”
“Friendship, family, connection and discovery intertwine in a marvelous way in this appealing novel. … In refusing to be defeated by pessimism, Pat learns about true silver linings, not pretty happy endings.”
“Endearing…touching and funny.… Pat [Peoples] is as sweet as a puppy, and his offbeat story has all the markings of a crowd-pleaser.”
“Not just a postbag of whimsical letters; it’s also a bildungsroman….A tender tale that manages to be both light-hearted and philosophical.”
“Grade: A. Picking up a Matthew Quick novel is a lot like going to your favorite restaurant. You just know it is going to be good.”