I adored this book so much that I tried to read slowly because I knew I would miss it when I was done.
Matthew Quick also wrote Silver Linings Playbook, which is one of the best movies I've seen in recent years and one of the only ones I'll stop and watch when I see that it's on HBO, even if I have to start in the middle.
The Good Luck of Right Now is written entirely in letters to Richard Gere. Yes, THE Richard Gere. No kidding.
Bartholomew Neil is an almost 40 year old man who lives at home with his mother and has never done anything but take care of her. It's clear from the beginning that he is different...abnormal...off...perhaps mentally ill...and not just because he considers Richard Gere a close, personal friend who appears to him in times of need. But Bartholomew is so much more. He's a good person. He's helpful. He's kindhearted and innocent.
Bartholomew's journey really begins with his mother's death as he tries to find his way in the world. He's a devout Catholic and honest in a childlike way. He's in love with a woman he watches at the local library (he affectionaly calls her "The Girlbrarian") but he's much too timid to actually speak to her. He studies Tibet and the Dalai Lama and is a huge fan of the Olympics.
Unexpected people enter Bartholomew's life after his mother's death, including Max, a man who is like Bartholomew, yet his opposite. Consequently, Max uses the F word in every single sentence, sometimes multiple times, and this is strangely one of things that makes him so endearing. Weird, huh? I know. Trust me.
Quotes that I love:
(Bartholomew describing The Girlbrarian) "Her voice was...reluctant and damaged and beautiful and maybe like a bird with a broken wing singing unfettered all alone in the wilderness when she thinks no one is listening, if that makes any sense, which it probably doesn't."
(Bartholomew explaining how we should treasure every moment) "...because life was always revolving and changing, and therefore, no matter how much we'd like to, we would never, ever have that moment again -- even if we tried with all our might to re-create it, going so far as wearing the same exact clothes even, we would fail, because you cannot beat time; you can only enjoy it whenever possible, as it zooms by endlessly."
There is some profanity (okay, LOTS of profanity where Max is concerned which often made me laugh out loud because of its absurdity, but little to none from anyone else) and some adult content which is presented in the most innocent way. But if you can see past that to the bigger story, you should read this book.
This book is the story of everyone. That no one is normal or abnormal, but rather we're all just people doing the best we can do. That we can choose to look for the absolute best in others. That all people have gifts if we just look for them. That hope and kindness are more important that just about anything else.
And that the good luck of right now makes the bad times worth it.
Your adoring fan,