RC Bray absolutely nails the protagonist in the audio cd version of The Reason You're Alive--one of the best I've "read". (I just returned it, but for some reason I can't find it in the catalog.)
Matthew Quicks book are always entertaining. They're also often a little sad, and emotionally powerful. With The Reason You're Alive he has tackled a topic that I would have told you wasn't going to resonate with me, that of a straight-talking, opinionated, right-wing (sort of), sixty-eight-year-old Vietnam Vet, and told a story that surprised, delighted, and moved me in more ways that I would have imagined.
Exploring PSTD, depression, political correctness, and family, Quick's lead character, David Granger, will surprise even the most die-hard liberals. I would love to know what a far-right leaning reader would make of him. David's thoughts on gays, blacks, Asians, artists may start out as somewhat offensive, but they are actually real, and based on the people he knows, not some misguided stereotype. And in contrast with his son Hank's liberal thinking, David's thoughts seem more honest, and even more insightful, because they are shaped from experience, rather than rhetoric.
Bravo to Matthew Quick for writing such an entertaining (I laughed out loud more than once, especially the parts describing gay Timmy and gay Johnny), moving, and insightful novel. This one surprised the heck out of me, the way David ended up surprising his son.
Mathew Quick gives us a small measure of the healing we all still need if we have been touched by war in this poignant and at the same time hilarious tale of the Viet Nam War and its aftermath in the lives of some wonderful and awful Americans.
Whether you love or hate Vietnam Vet David Granger, you won't be able to quit reading his story.
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