Every few months I browse the digital audiobooks available through my local library system and I decide to try once again to get into audiobooks. I am not always successful in what I choose, for various reasons (perhaps another post?), but when I selected The Good Luck of Right Now I made the right decision.
Matthew Quick is the author of several novels, probably the best known of which is The Silver Linings Playbook, which was made into a popular film. Based on what I know about that story (I’ve not read the book or seen the movie – yet), The Good Luck of Right Now has a similar cast of misfit characters. The main character, Bartholomew Neil, is in is late 30s without a job, and is living in the same home where he lived with his mother until she died from brain cancer. While going through her things, he finds a form letter from Richard Gere in his mother’s underwear drawer. Richard Gere was his mother’s favorite actor, and in the final days of her illness she occasionally called Bartholomew “Richard”. This discovery led Bartholomew to write letters to Richard Gere telling him about his grief.
Bartholomew is not entirely alone, but the people who try to help him – his grief counselor, Wendy, and Father McNamee, the parish priest – have their own problems. Later on, Bartholomew meets Max, a man who is dealing with his own grief (and has an affinity for using f-bombs every other word), and Max’s sister (aka the Girlbrarian) and what begins as a quiet story about dealing with loss turns into an adventure into Canada to find Bartholomew’s father and visit Cat Parliament in Ottawa (which was until very recently a real thing).
I LOVED listening to this book. The narrator, Oliver Wyman, conveyed the voices of everyone – but especially Bartholomew – perfectly and with an emotion that found me willing myself not to cry several times while I was listening in the car. It is a story about misfits but everyone can certainly see bits of themselves in any or all of the characters.
As I mentioned, Max’s language can be a bit disconcerting, especially on audio, but that is the only complaint I have about this production. If you enjoy audiobooks, this is definitely one you should add to your list; and if you are like me and listen to them only occasionally, please do give this one a try.