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.