I recently listened to The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick. I’m going to write about it, but I’m not calling this a book review. I don’t feel like I know enough about literature to write a proper review. Perhaps, if I start reading book reviews regularly I’d get a feel for it. So this is going to be me talking about a book that I enjoyed
The Good Luck of Right Now is the story of a 38 year old man named Bartholomew Neil. He has spent the last several years of his life taking care of his mother who was sick with cancer. He’s never had a job or lived on his own, so his mother’s death is particularly difficult for him.
Bartholomew is someone who is not quite right. I get the feeling he is somewhere on the Autism/Aspergers spectrum, but his diagnosis is never revealed.
Much of the story is told as a series of letters that Bartholomew writes to the actor, Richard Gere. Gere becomes his imaginary confidant, helping him get through various difficult situations, including the task of getting to know the girl of his dreams.
Bartholomew becomes friends with Max, another ‘not quite right’ guy he meets in group therapy. Max says the word “fucking” a lot. The book’s narrator did a good job of portraying Max; a childlike man with quite a coarse way of expressing himself.
This book is about people who don’t fit in, and I think that’s why I enjoyed it. I have always fit in. Even when I was the only black kid in the neighborhood and school, I was accepted. There was a place for me. Though I like to think of myself as artsy and weird, I’m pretty much a part of the mainstream. The characters in this book aren’t like that. They’ve been misfits since childhood, and they always will be. I liked looking into his world, maybe getting a taste of what it’s like to live on the fringes.
So I’ll give The Good Luck of Right Now five stars out of five for story, and five out of five for Oliver Wyman’s narration. You should go and read it (or give it a listen)!