Book Review: 'The Good Luck of Right Now'

Friday, February 14, 2014

Matthew Quick. Harper: 304 pp. $25.99

I'll be frank: I didn't really love "The Silver Linings Playbook." Don't get me wrong, I loved the movie. And perhaps it's because I saw the movie first and loved it so much, but Quick's first novel is shelved along other rarities of books that -- in my opinion -- weren't as good as the movie.

If they ever made a movie of "The Good Luck of Right Now," however, I don't know if it could be as good as the book. Quick has a quirky way of writing, a whimsical nature in his literary voice that makes it hard not to fall in love with his characters.

Bartholomew Neil has just lost his mother, the single most important person in his life for his entire 40 years. In packing her things, he came across a letter sent from Richard Gere urging her to boycott the 2012 Beijing Olympics in support of Tibetan freedom. She had staunchly obliged.

Richard Gere was his mother's favorite actor, and called Bartholomew "Richard" during her last months with Alzheimer's. He took this to mean he and the actor were intrinsically connected, and he begins to write a series of intimate letters to Richard Gere documenting his mother's life, last days, and his journey moving forward with his life.

"The Good Luck of Right Now" is that series of letters. Seventeen letters for 17 chapters. Written with a tenderness for Bartholomew and the subject of moving through the loss of a loved one, as well as a knowledge and respect for Richard Gere's personal beliefs, this book is entertaining and deeply heartfelt. Quick writes Bartholomew so well, he is an impossible character to forget.

Matthew Quick has written five books, including "The Good Luck of Right Now" and "The Silver Linings Playbook," which was adapted last year into an award-winning film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.

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