Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

3.5 Stars

Bartholomew has spent his entire life with his mother. He has never had a job, never had any friends, never had any responsibilities. When Bartholomew’s mother dies, he finds himself with no idea how to cope. His grief counselor tells him he needs to come to terms with his mother’s death, which he attempts to do by writing letters to her favorite actor, Richard Gere.

What a strange little novel. Although it pales in comparison to the magic that is The Silver Linings Playbook, I once again found myself questioning what exactly is wrong with Quick? Where does he get ideas like “whenever something bad happens to us, something good happens to someone else. And that’s The Good Luck of Right Now” and how can he turn those ideas into books that I want to read? How can he write these emotionally damaged characters so well? How can he make me connect to Bartholomew (and Pat and Leonard) after reading just a few pages? How can he write a character that kind of reminded me of Norman Bates – the severe co-dependent relationship with his mother, and after her death his “friendship” with Richard Gere

thankfully without all the

and make me kind of love him a little?

The answer to all of the above questions? Quick writes about finding the fairy tale. Even when the happy ending is something as simple as having your first drink at a bar with a woman you like. And his characters? As Bartholomew’s mother would say – Bartholomew is “just a little off. Off in the best of ways.” Quick is an author who makes me RUUUUUUUUUUN to the library to pick up his latest work.

He also makes something regrettable happen to me each time I read one of his novels. Sometimes it happens right at the start, or in this case I made it almost all the way to the end, but then . . .

I hate when that happens.

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