Matthew Quick's new book "The Good Luck of Right Now" comes out straight after the extraordinary success of "The Silver Linings Playbook" so you can imagine that while writing it, Quick would be under huge amount of pressure to deliver something really good. However, against all expectations his new book feels extraordinarily easy and effortless. And similar to "The Silver Linings Playbook", "The Good Luck of Right Now" comes with his recognizable irresistibly charming kind of quirkiness.
To put it bluntly, Matthew Quick's new book is mostly about the healing power of Richard Gere. Bartholomew Neil has spent first thirty eight years of his life living in a bubble. Detached from the rest of the world, he spent most of his time looking after his mother but when one day she dies after suffering from brain cancer, he finds himself at odds about how to continue. The turning point comes when, going through his mother's things, he discovers a “Free Tibet” letter from Richard Gere (yes, that Richard Gere!). And since, during her last few days, his mother has called him Richard, he sees a cosmic connection with him. Suddenly he starts writing Richard Gere a series of intimate letters exploring everything from philosophy, faith, women and meaning of life. And through these letter Bartholomew slowly starts to discover more about himself and what living is all about. Soon enough and not without any troubles, Bartholomew finds his feet, acquires a couple of odd friends (a strange gang that, for example, includes defrocked alcoholic priest Father McNamee, girlibrarian Elizabeth and cat-obsessed Max who is suffering from Tourettes) and embarks on a proper road trip to Canada. The rest is pretty bonkers. There's dead bodies , Cat Parliaments and thousand of other things.
You probably realise by now that Matthew Quick's books are not so much about the story as they are about his cast of likable off-beat characters and their journeys of discovery. As such, I found "The Good Luck of Right Now" to be one of the best gentle, life-affirming stories I've recently read. It is like coming to a party, meeting some rather strange characters and going on a holiday with them. You probably wouldn't want to spend your life with them but, damn it, you'll enjoy every second in their company.
I wonder what Richard Gere thinks of all this?!