Book review: The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
August 14, 2014 12 Comments
From the publishers: “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.”
The Good Luck of Right Now: What I thought
This book is a series of letters by the protagonist to Richard Gere, the movie star. That was really off-putting. 🙂 Do I care about movie stars? Sorry, not a lot.
But Bartholomew does, because his mother was RG’s biggest fan. And so, when his mother is terminal, he pretends to be RG to please her. He realizes that he’s much braver when he thinks about what RG would do in particular situations. His first goal in life, after his mother dies, is to have a drink in a bar with a guy. Just like other guys. His therapist suggested it but he has no idea how to achieve this.
He meets a number of strange people (the therapist isn’t quite who she claims to be, either). It’s fun to read about them, but I was worried for Bartholomew: they were likely to take advantage of him. However, bit by bit, he explores his new life and the people in it, and comes to accept a life without his mother.
This was a fun read, especially because of the characters that make an appearance. Bartholomew is odd but I did start to like him after a while. He’s so innocent for an almost-40-year old!
I never warmed to the letters themselves, but luckily, Bartholomew doesn’t address RG all the time. He spends a lot of the time just explaining what happened that day. He had a mystery in his life to which I guessed the answer quite soon, but the way it was revealed was still a surprise.
An easy read and a fun book.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)
Number of pages: 304
First published: 2014
I got this: won from Adorable Books
Also read by this author: Love May Fail