Wednesday, January 29, 2014

a memorable cast, a unique journey...a review of The Good Luck of Right Now (Quick)

Of course, while I want to get back to blogging more regularly about other stuff, it wouldn't be my blog if I didn't still have book reviews....

Even as I start this review, I'm not quite sure how I'm going to rate this one.  This novel is composed of letters from Bartholomew Neil to Richard Gere....yes, that Richard Gere.  Bartholomew has lived a quiet life.  He clearly has some form of developmental disability, likely someplace on the autism spectrum, and he writes to Gere in the wake of his mother's death.  Bartholomew trying to find his footing as an adult and figure out who he is without his mother.  As the book progresses, we meet a bipolar priest, the "Girlbrarian" (Bartholomew's longtime crush), a grief counselor in need of her own counselor, and a man who is a bit obsessed with cats and unable to get through a sentence without at least one four-letter word.  Some "secrets" are a bit more apparent to the reader than to the characters, but the book is more about the journey these characters take, together and individually, than their destinations.

Quick supplies one of the more unique narrators that I've come across in a while.  Its hard not to enjoy Bartholomew, although its also hard not to get frustrated with him and the other characters at times.  The entire character of the cursing cat-lover (other reviewers suggest he likely has Tourette's) was a bit much for me, including his alien obsession and coincidental relationship with another character.  I was very much rooting for Bartholomew and I appreciated that he often showed himself to be wiser than he first appeared. 

While the ending wasn't exactly typical, it was a bit tidy for my tastes.  Then again, as I noted earlier, its really about the journey more than the destination and Quick certainly crafts unique and memorable characters.  4.5 for Bartholomew, 2 for the cat lover, and I suppose an ultimate 3.5 for the book as a whole...I'll round up where I need an even number.  A unique read, with a unique and hard-to-forget population...while there are elements I'd have preferred to see done differently, I'll still say thanks to the folks at Harper for the introductions (and the review copy).

P.S.  I did love the theory behind the title and may very well have to ramble about it sometime on its own.

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