Call it fate...
Call it synchronicity...
Call it an act of God...
Call it…The Good Luck of Right Now.
For 38 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 by writing Richard Gere a series of 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 Bartholomew's biological father…and discover so much more.
©2014 Matthew Quick (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers
"Thanks to Oliver Wyman's extraordinary performance, this novel should be savored in audio.... One can only pity the poor print reader." (AudioFile)
"[A]nother offbeat gem populated with eccentric, fallible, intensely human characters." (Booklist)
"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." (Publishers Weekly)
This was easily the best book I've read (well, listened to) in recent memory. The words are tender, humorous, thought-provoking, quirky, and positive. Bartholomew Neil is an kind and innocent man, likely on the autism spectrum, who has lived through some unspeakably sad events. The book opens up with him in the wake of his mothers death and chronicles his healing process in series of letters to (who else?) Richard Gere. Bartholomew's pain is so beautifully tragic and is foiled through supporting characters including a physically abused grief counselor, alcoholic priest, introverted librarian, and potty-mouth who is grieving the loss of his cat. While I actively cried at multiple parts of this book, I left the reading feeling an overwhelming sense of positivity. I had previously enjoyed Silver Linings and enjoyed the similarities of these two novels (i.e., healing after loss, quirky characters, Philly grit), but feel as though this book was far superior.
The narration was the best I've heard in my history of Audible and will become the standard by which I measure future audiobooks. I am SO happy I *listened* to this book and cannot imagine my brain would be able to bring the characters to life the way Mr. Wyman did.
I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
Matthew Quick’s latest book, The Good Luck of Right Now, is a coming of age about a man learning to live on his own after his mother’s death. Bartholomew is pushing 40 but has missed a lot of social milestones, like making friends, having a drink with a girl at a bar, or getting a job. He’s working on his personal growth strategy by writing letters to Richard Gere, an actor his mother admired.
Like Quick’s other books, The Good Luck of Right Now is offbeat and filled with quirky characters, with a focus on mental health, religion, and personal discovery. It’s happy, sad, heartwarming, strange, and very entertaining.
Bartholomew Neil’s story plays out through his letters to Richard Gere. He spends his time going to church, talking with family friend, the recently “defrocked” Father McNamee, and studying up on Buddhism at the library. His crush on the “Girlbrarian” is another reason that Bartholomew needs a lot of study time.
Bartholomew also has an angry voice inside of him that eats at him and he has a lot to work through. Bartholomew’s grief counselor wants him to work on his self-improvement goals, and to be more independent. He meets a kindred spirit at a support group. Max is grieving his beloved cat, and his Tourette’s means the f-word appears almost every other word in his scenes. In what Bartholomew would call synchronicity, it turns out Max is the girlbrarian’s brother.
The action shifts from Philadelphia to Canada when the group of misfits leave town on an important cat/dad finding mission.
The title plays very much into the philosophy of the story, and refers to the flip side of bad luck. Bad, terrible things occur to the characters in the book, and Bartholomew’s mother taught him to put a positive spin on bad luck. Maybe their bad luck means someone else will have good fortune. It’s a theme that comes up time and again.
Oliver Wyman does an outstanding job with the audiobook narration, and really inhabits the characters. His Bartholomew is kind and sincere, but Wyman also brings that angry voice to life as well. I also really enjoyed his voice for the cat obsessed, foul-mouthed Max. The book is so cinematic in feel like Quick’s Silver Linings Playbook and benefits from Wyman’s skilled narration.
Though this book is written with an adult audience in mind, I think that it definitely has YA appeal, with its unconventional coming of age story. I really liked this offbeat story, and since there is a movie in the works, I’m already trying to cast it in my head. I hope Richard Gere makes a cameo at least! If you like quirky, heartwarming books about road trips, mental illness, and self-discovery, or Matthew Quick’s other books, this one might be right up your alley.
No, this was my first but I want to hear more! I have already started to shop for more of his reads. Wonderful job!
Although she is fictional and a dead fictional character at that, I would love to eat dinner with Mrs. Neil. I found her to be surprisingly strong and positive. I loved her theories on life. I wish I could have been at here 60th birthday dinner, even for the clean up.
I'm a Matthew Quick fan ever since I read Boy 21. I might be a little bias but this book was great. There is a lot of swearing and some adult topics so this is not a good one to listen to with kids around. Unless you want them to start yelling "cat f***ing parliament!"
Its a fascinating tale that would begin on may 5th, 1989 in Mease Dunedin hospital and from there the legacy grew. I am adult now.
I've enjoyed Matthew quick ,he is a brilliant writer . This book will probably be a favorite in my ranking.
This book reminds me of silver linings playbook cause it's about an adult male learning to cope with being alone.
Winters tale is the other book I've heard him narrate with such depiction and dramatic interpretation . I can't really compare.
The part that really was the storyline about the main characters incredible gift.
This book was excellent as an audiobook in large part because of the narrator. But it's a great story full of quirky people trying to make sense of their lives . Underneath is the general theme that the stories we tell about the meaning of our lives should not be evaluated for truth as much as for how kind they make us.
Say something about yourself!
Matthew Quick is now one of my favorite authors. I loved 3 of the 4 books of his that audible has available. This book is his best in my opinion and the others were outstanding as well. The theme is interesting, the characters are so well developed. They are quirky and endearing. In parts of the book, the dialogue was so funny and clever I found myself laughing out loud. The most disappointing part of the book was that it had to end.
Yes, I love listening to the various voices of the characters. I love the author talking in first person .
The quirkiness of this story keep me entertained. I also like that the main character did a form of meditation as he wrote his letter to Richard Gere. The story stayed with me.
I love how he changed his tone for each person. Especially Max and father mac inally.
When god closes a door he always opens a window! Keep on the look out for it!
This is a quirky story of a man who only cares for his mother. His mother pass away, and thru a few various circumstances, he meets people who help him grow up and heal his grieving of his mother.
I think so. Honestly, after "Silver Linings..." I was expecting something of similar momentum. In style, I suppose it is. Finishing it, it suddenly feels like it was a cohesive, easy flowing story all along. That is not at all how I felt listening up until then.
I am an eBay seller who listens to approx. a book a day while taking & editing photos of my items. I love a good suspenseful mystery!
I enjoyed Silver Linings Playbook but I wouldn't spend money or waste a credit on another Matthew Quick book.
He could have made it less annoying and more enjoyable! This book was nothing but incessant whining, crying, complaining & 'poor me's'! These characters were some of the most pathetic, negative, sad and depressed people I have read about! I tried, I really really tried but when the girl pulled out the pills and started talking 'exit' strategy because her and her brother couldn't pay their bills I was done!
okay but not great
So many I can't write it here.
I'm so angry that I wasted a credit on this book! I was vacillating between this and the Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly and I wish so bad I would have chosen the latter. Such a waste!!
I am a literary fiction buff. A great read makes me happy. I love photography and Canon equipment. I write one or two sentence reviews.
I felt I was inside the head of Bartholomew Neil. The story made me look at his life looking out of his eyes. It is not an easy point of view. I wonder if Richard Gere ever read this book?
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