The Reason You're Alive

A Novel
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
Length: 5 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (178 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of The Silver Linings Playbook offers a timely novel featuring his most fascinating character yet, a Vietnam vet embarking on a quixotic crusade to track down his nemesis from the war.

After 68-year-old David Granger crashes his BMW, medical tests reveal a brain tumor that he readily attributes to his wartime Agent Orange exposure. He wakes up from surgery repeating a name no one in his civilian life has ever heard - that of a Native American soldier whom he was once ordered to discipline. David decides to return something precious he long ago stole from the man he now calls Clayton Fire Bear. It may be the only way to find closure in a world increasingly at odds with the one he served to protect. It may also help him to finally recover from his wife's untimely demise.

As David confronts his past to salvage his present, a poignant portrait emerges: that of an opinionated and good-hearted American patriot fighting like hell to stay true to his red, white, and blue heart, even as the country he loves rapidly changes in ways he doesn't always like or understand. Hanging in the balance are Granger's distant art-dealing son, Hank; his adoring seven-year-old granddaughter, Ella; and his best friend, Sue, a Vietnamese American who respects David's fearless sincerity.

Through the controversial, wrenching, and wildly honest David Granger, Matthew Quick offers a no-nonsense but ultimately hopeful view of America's polarized psyche. By turns irascible and hilarious, insightful and inconvenient, David is a complex, wounded, honorable, and loving man. The Reason You're Alive examines how the secrets and debts we carry from our pasts define us; it also challenges us to look beyond our own prejudices and search for the good in us all.

©2017 Matthew Quick (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Narrator R.C. Bray brings the contentious, gruff yet thoughtful main character of this moving novel to life.... Bray understands this character, and his performance, which consistently hits the dramatic, shocking, and humorous notes expertly, is simply remarkable. This is one of the best matches of material to narrator this year." (AudioFile)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kinda like Gran Torino..

If you are looking for political correctness, turn back now. If you are easily offended, turn back now. But if you want real, come ahead. If you want a glimpse into a Vietnam vets head, this book is for you. It shows all sides. How we are all broken in some way no matter our color , no matter our politics. We are human. R.C Bray once agains dazzles me with his performance.

3 people found this helpful

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Powerful

If you’ve ever wondered what Vietnam soldiers went through, this is your chance to hear it.

2 people found this helpful

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Wow!

Wow! Much better than expected. The story was great and the main character was hilarious. You really come to know and care about the main character and the story itself has a good message, while not taking itself too seriously. Laughs are abound in this book, and the story still serious and meaningful. That's a rare and fantastic combination. Narration was perfect! RC Bray absolutely nailed the characters, humor, and the overall story. Highly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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Reasons Why You read

A solid story of A veteran adjusting to life 50 years after the Vietnam war. A story about tolerance and racial profiling. Matthew quick never fails to amaze me.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved this book!

I like how the author portrayed the main character. This story reminds me of A Man Called Ove. Great book

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truly good book

Buy this book and you won't regret it. it is far from a millennial book. but instead a fictional story of the true American hero.

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Lovely story, excellent narration, worth the time

This is my first Matthew Quick book and it certainly will not be the last. I think the narrator makes or breaks an audiobook, often times regardless of the material. R. C. Bray is top notch. He captures the mood brilliantly and really elevates an already fantastic novel to a whole new level. I couldn't stop listening and had tears in my eyes more than once.

Highly recommended.

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Get this ab!!!

Awesome story hits home in a lot of ways. Sons of men in military will appreciate this story. Mr. Bray was outstanding , perfect character read as always.

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amazing

had to read this for school found it really interesting. the Vikings were phenomenal as well

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great book

loved it. it's not a perspective I would have normally listened to and it made the story that much more gripping.