I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
Published by Picador on 2nd February 2014
Genres: adult, contemporary
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Bartholomew Neil is thirty-eight and lost. He’s lived his whole life, up till a few weeks ago, with his devoted mum, but now she has died Bartholomew has no idea how to be on his own. His grief counsellor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded learn how to fly?
So Bartholomew turns to Richard Gere, the man his mum adored from afar, in the hope he can offer some answers. In Bartholomew’s letters to Richard Gere he explores philosophy and friendship, alien abduction and the mystery of women. The letters also reveal his heart-breaking need of a family, but when Bartholomew does manage to assemble a motley family of sorts, he seems to have taken on more than he bargained for . . .
I have very mixed feelings on this novel – parts I loved, other parts I thought were good but they just didn’t enthral me as much as I hoped. Nevertheless, The Good Luck of Right Now is a brilliant novel from the equally brilliant Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook.
Bartholomew Neil is middle-aged and has spent the past years looking after his sick mother. The novel starts after her death and we find Bartholomew writing letters to actor Richard Gere after finding a form letter from him in his mother’s underwear drawer.
Quick’s novels never fail to make me think – I can’t help but sit back in awe and think, ‘Wow!’ This book really is an emotional rollercoaster – I laughed, I smiled, I was sad alongside the characters: I felt like I really lived this story.
The main character, Bartholomew, had my complete affection throughout. He was grieving and so much was going on in his life; he was suddenly thrust into this big, uncomfortable world and that can be scary. I just wanted to give him a big hug!
The secondary characters, although not many of them, became very familiar and really helped the story along. I loved Max and ‘the Girlbrarian’ and Wendy too, and how they were with Bartholomew. There were such a variety of different characters – it was hard not to feel invested in the story.
I feel like there wasn’t so much a plot as a journey. From start to finish, we see Bartholomew travel, metaphorically, and his character develop. It was a very special journey to be a part of.
I did, however, find some parts quite predictable, which lowered the rating for me. Maybe that’s just me, and this shouldn’t deter you from reading it. I think because there is so little plot, this wasn’t such a big thing as it could have been, but the predictability did spoil the reading experience for me a bit.
I put down The Good Luck of Right Now feeling satisfied with the story and where it went, and all its different components. If you’re looking to read something a bit different, this is the book for you.