The Good Luck of Right Now

  • by Matthew Quick
  • Narrated by Oliver Wyman
  • 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Call it fate...
Call it synchronicity...
Call it an act of God...
Call it…The Good Luck of Right Now.
For 38 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 by writing Richard Gere a series of 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 Bartholomew's biological father…and discover so much more.


What the Critics Say

"Thanks to Oliver Wyman's extraordinary performance, this novel should be savored in audio.... One can only pity the poor print reader." (AudioFile)
"[A]nother offbeat gem populated with eccentric, fallible, intensely human characters." (Booklist)
"A quirky coming-of-age story…. Quick writes with an engaging intimacy, capturing his narrator’s innocence and off-kilter philosophy, and the damaged souls in orbit around him." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This was easily the best book I've read (well, listened to) in recent memory. The words are tender, humorous, thought-provoking, quirky, and positive. Bartholomew Neil is an kind and innocent man, likely on the autism spectrum, who has lived through some unspeakably sad events. The book opens up with him in the wake of his mothers death and chronicles his healing process in series of letters to (who else?) Richard Gere. Bartholomew's pain is so beautifully tragic and is foiled through supporting characters including a physically abused grief counselor, alcoholic priest, introverted librarian, and potty-mouth who is grieving the loss of his cat. While I actively cried at multiple parts of this book, I left the reading feeling an overwhelming sense of positivity. I had previously enjoyed Silver Linings and enjoyed the similarities of these two novels (i.e., healing after loss, quirky characters, Philly grit), but feel as though this book was far superior.

The narration was the best I've heard in my history of Audible and will become the standard by which I measure future audiobooks. I am SO happy I *listened* to this book and cannot imagine my brain would be able to bring the characters to life the way Mr. Wyman did.

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- JoAnn


Matthew Quick wrote The Silver Linings Playbook, which was a wonderful movie. When I listened to the audiobook, I thought that Matthew showed a lot of promise as a writer, and a lot of guts, to put on display an extremely accurate, vivid, unflinching picture of what it is like to have a major mental illness. The movie was hollywood, of course, but the book was written by an author with tremendous skills, I can speculate about whether Matthew has a personal experience of mental illness, particularly the disorder which is called Bipolar Disorder, formerly manic-depressive illness.It doesn't matter whether or not he has that, but if he hasn't, then he is a man of remarkable powers of observation.
He wrote a second book, which I listened to but immediately forgot, not a good sign. The third book is so bad that it is annoying. Neil, the main character, is clearly a seriously deluded man. One of his main goals in life is to have a beer with a friend in a bar. He also hallucinates Richard Gere. He and Richard have daily conversations. This portrait of loneliness is awful enough, but the skill of the writing deteriorated to the point at which it was very hard to listen to, saying nothing about the uncomfortable content. However, in the middle of the book Matthew decompensates to the point at which his words are literally nonsensical gibberish. Matthew introduces a character who has to include the word fuck, or any of its variations, whenever he speaks. I quit at this point. Matthew completely lost me. I just cannot believe that an editor could allow such a manuscript to be published. The words become something like stream-of-consciousness, with the exception that the author is no James Joyce. Still, I root for him. I hope he does better next time, and that for God's sake he finds an editor.
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- Richard Delman "I am a 67 year old psychologist. I have been married for 28 years, with two sons who are 27 and 24. I love listening to the books."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-11-2014
  • Publisher: HarperAudio