MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

The Good Luck of Right Now

by Matthew Quick

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick X
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2014, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2015, 304 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A funny and tender story about family, friendship, grief, acceptance, and Richard Gere—an entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love.

For thirty-eight years, Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother. When she gets sick and dies, he has no idea how to be on his own. His redheaded grief counselor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded in his mom, Saturday mass, and the library learn how to fly?

Bartholomew thinks he's found a clue when he discovers a "Free Tibet" letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother's underwear drawer. In her final days, mom called him Richard - there must be a cosmic connection. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate letters. Jung and the Dalai Lama, philosophy and faith, alien abduction and cat telepathy, the Catholic Church and the mystery of women are all explored in his soul-baring epistles. But mostly the letters reveal one man's heartbreakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own.

A struggling priest, a "Girlbrarian," her feline-loving, foul-mouthed brother, and the spirit of Richard Gere join the quest to help Bartholomew. In a rented Ford Focus, they travel to Canada to see the cat Parliament and find his biological father... and discover so much more.

Excerpt
The Good Luck Of Right Now

Dear Mr. Richard Gere,

In Mom's underwear drawer—as I was separating her "personal" clothes from the "lightly used" articles I could donate to the local thrift shop—I found a letter you wrote.

As you will recall, your letter was about the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, China—you were advocating for a boycott because of the crimes and atrocities the Chinese government committed against Tibet.

Don't worry.

I'm not one of those "crazy types."

I immediately realized that this was a form letter you sent out to millions of people through your charitable organization, but Mom was a good enough pretender to believe you had personally signed the letter specifically to her, which is most likely why she saved it—believing you had touched the paper with your hands, licked the envelope with your tongue—imagining the paper represented a tangible link to you . . . that maybe a few of your cells, microscopic bits...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Bartholomew Neil fears he is a failure. Is he? How does society determine success or failure in life? Do these measures work for those who are different, like Bartholomew?

  2. At the beginning of the novel, Bartholomew has just lost his mother, and everyone is concerned for his emotional wellbeing. Are their fears misplaced? Do you think Bartholomew is handling his loss well?

  3. Bartholomew tells us that his mother "could make small things seem miraculous." As you come to know about his life, do you agree? How can all of us make the small things in our own lives feel momentous?

  4. Why does Bartholomew decide to write to Richard Gere? How does writing to the actor affect his understanding of his life and the people around him? Who would you "...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The self-awareness, the humanness of these flawed but beautiful characters makes them just as important to the world as Type A overachievers and we ought to learn to appreciate them. This, plus Quick's lovely, sharp, funny prose, is what makes The Good Luck of Right Now a very worthwhile read...continued

Full Review (714 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Quick writes with an engaging intimacy, capturing his narrator's innocence and off-kilter philosophy, and the damaged souls in orbit around him.

Library Journal
[Quick] has a rare skill in portraying characters with mental illness, which, when coupled with his deft hand at humor, produces compelling and important prose.

Booklist
Quick, the author of The Silver Linings Playbook, provides another offbeat gem populated with eccentric, fallible, intensely human characters….Humor, pathos, and quirky bends in the road define they odyssey, making it increasingly clear that it is all about the journey, not the destination.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. A whimsical, clever narrative.

Author Blurb Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
Funny, touching, wise, and ultimately life-affirming, The Good Luck of Right Now is quite possibly the greatest feel-good misfit-road story I've had the good luck to read. If you loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, this book is for you.

Author Blurb Wally Lamb, author of We are Water and Wishin' and Hopin
I loved this novel from its quirky and unconventional opening to its poignant, tear-inducing conclusion.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Matthew Quick

If you liked The Good Luck of Right Now, try these:

  • When We Were Vikings jacket

    When We Were Vikings

    by Andrew David MacDonald

    Published 2020

    About this book

    A heart-swelling debut for fans of The Silver Linings Playbook and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

  • America for Beginners jacket

    America for Beginners

    by Leah Franqui

    Published 2019

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Recalling contemporary classics such as Americanah, Behold the Dreamers, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a funny, poignant, and insightful debut novel that explores the complexities of family, immigration, prejudice, and the American Dream through meaningful and unlikely friendships forged in unusual circumstances.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: All Adults Here
    All Adults Here
    by Emma Straub
    In an author's note at the end of All Adults Here, Emma Straub comments on her decision a few years ...
  • Book Jacket: The Lightness of Hands
    The Lightness of Hands
    by Jeff Garvin
    The stillness that comes right after reading a book that has wrapped itself firmly around your heart...
  • Book Jacket: The Vanishing Half
    The Vanishing Half
    by Brit Bennett
    Brit Bennett's second novel, The Vanishing Half (after The Mothers, her 2016 bestselling debut), ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tropic of Violence
    by Nathacha Appanah
    Marie is a nurse working in Mayotte, a cluster of French territory islands in the Indian Ocean. When...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Last Flight
by Julie Clark

The story of two women and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

M's T W!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.