Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Needing something completely different, I decided to read The Good Luck of Right Now, a novel by Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook which I read some months ago.

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama

Certainly there have been better actors than me who have had no careers. Why? I don't know. Richard Gere

These epigraphs appear in the front of the book. The teachings of the Dalai Lama and the career of Richard Gere are of great interest to the novel's narrator, Bartholomew Neil. Bartholomew is at once a prodigy and philosopher and an outsider and innocent in the tradition of The Idiot or Being There.

Bartholomew's mother has died of cancer and at 38 years of age he must learn to face life without his best friend and guide and caretaker. He has no idea how the bills are paid or what he will do with his life now. He has never asked a girl out on a date and his only friend is the bi-polar Father McNamee. He has a crush on the 'Girlbrarian', a volunteer at the local library but the little man in his stomach yells that he is too ugly and stupid to attract any girl.

The novel is told in a series of letters that Bartholomew writes to Richard Gere, his mother's favorite movie actor. In her final days she called her son "Richard." Thinking that his mother believed he was Richard Gere he assumed Gere's identify for her sake.

After the funeral Father NcNamee 'defrocks' himself and moves in with Bartholomew, insisting they have a mission. A grief counselor, Wendy, arranges for Bartholomew to meet Max who is deep in grief over the loss of his cat, and whose sister happens to be the 'Girlbrarian'-- Synchronicity, Bartholomew thinks.

Wild and wacky, deep and moving, Quick probes the deep questions of the universe as Bartholomew grapples with "the good luck of right now," his mother's belief that one person's bad luck is another person's good luck as the universe seeks balance.

Published 2/11/2014
ISBN: 978006225539, ISBN 10: 006228553X

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