I adored this book. I’m learning that I really like characters that have something slightly off about them. Think, Come Thou Tortoise, The Kitchen Daughter. or The Rosie Project. In this case, the main character has some form of Asperger’s Syndrome.
Bartholomew is 38 years old. He’s lived with his mother all of his life and regularly attends church. He doesn’t have friends and has never had a job. His life turns upside down when his mother dies of cancer.
For the majority of this book, Bartholomew is writing letters to Richard Gere. Yup, that Richard Gere. At times painful, but almost always hilarious in some way, Bartholomew lets us into his head through these letters. Bartholomew has a very straightforward goal, to have a drink in a pub one day with a friend- maybe even a woman. He has some seriously profound thoughts. These include his thoughts about religion, what’s going on in the news and those around him.
Although Bartholomew sees himself as flawed, no one in the book is perfect either. From his therapist, to his priest and even his love interest….every character has some major issues.
I’ve never read a book by Matthew Quick, but now that I have, I can’t wait to read what else he’s written. He’s created such an amazing cast of heartwarming, quirky characters.
Matthew manages to deal with some heavy topics with a light hand. Mental illness, rape, bullying, death, Catholicism. Throw in some aliens, cats, a therapist, an unexpected road trip and you’ll begin to have some idea of where this book is heading.
I particularly liked a belief in this book that whenever something bad is happening to you, somewhere it’s being used towards a good deed.
“Maybe a sick baby girl in Zimbabwe would receive donated medicine just before she was about to slip into a fatal coma; maybe a hungry beggar in San Francisco would find a warm steak in a trash can behind a five star restaurant and dine under a full moon; maybe a young women in Tokyo would meet the love of her life when she jogged into the drivers side door of a slow moving car because she was singing with her eyes closed and her future soul mate would be driving and feel so bad about the bizarre accident, he would ask her to have coffee…”
Call it fate
Call it synchronicity
Call it an act of God
Call it . . . The Good Luck of Right Now.
I will be re-reading this book again, and I’m sure you will too.