The reason you're alive : a novel

by Quick, Matthew, 1973-

Format: Print Book 2017
Availability: Available at 29 Libraries 29 of 29 copies
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Summary

The New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook offers a timely novel featuring his most fascinating character yet, a Vietnam vet embarking on a quixotic crusade to track down his nemesis from the war.

After sixty-eight-year-old David Granger crashes his BMW, medical tests reveal a brain tumor that he readily attributes to his wartime Agent Orange exposure. He wakes up from surgery repeating a name no one in his civilian life has ever heard--that of a Native American soldier whom he was once ordered to discipline. David decides to return something precious he long ago stole from the man he now calls Clayton Fire Bear. It may be the only way to find closure in a world increasingly at odds with the one he served to protect. It may also help him to finally recover from his wife's untimely demise.

As David confronts his past to salvage his present, a poignant portrait emerges: that of an opinionated and good-hearted American patriot fighting like hell to stay true to his red, white, and blue heart, even as the country he loves rapidly changes in ways he doesn't always like or understand. Hanging in the balance are Granger's distant art-dealing son, Hank; his adoring seven-year-old granddaughter, Ella; and his best friend, Sue, a Vietnamese American who respects David's fearless sincerity.

Through the controversial, wrenching, and wildly honest David Granger, Matthew Quick offers a no-nonsense but ultimately hopeful view of America's polarized psyche. By turns irascible and hilarious, insightful and inconvenient, David is a complex, wounded, honorable, and loving man. The Reason You're Alive examines how the secrets and debts we carry from our past define us; it also challenges us to look beyond our own prejudices and search for the good in us all.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* You wouldn't think an ankle-holstering, Marlboro-smoking, card-carrying Republican could be vulnerable, but you don't know David Granger. A Vietnam veteran convinced that his brain tumor was caused by Agent Orange, David agrees to present his life's story in order to hold Uncle Sam accountable for his war injuries and to guide fellow veterans. David's brain injuries make him the definition of an unreliable narrator, and he often interrupts his own story with asides, foreshadowing, and deflection. His quest to return a war souvenir to its rightful owner is quixotic in the truest sense of the word, as his plans become derailed and reformed with each new twist. David's anxiety and braggadocio continually crash into each other to form one of the most frustrating, yet appealing, narrators in recent memory, contradictory to his core. Those familiar with author Quick will recognize elements of the complex and unflinchingly honest protagonist that appeared in The Silver Linings Playbook (2008), and fans of Matthew Norman and Greg Olear will enjoy David's introspection and self-preservation. Quick's prose is sharp and cutting, perfectly suited to David's brash persona. The Reason You're Alive is a compact powerhouse of a novel. Though brief, it's subversive, unexpected, and utterly compelling.--Turza, Stephanie Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Meet David Granger, the bigoted 68-year-old Vietnam veteran and narrator of Quick's (The Silver Linings Playbook) dark, funny, and surprisingly tender new novel. After a brain tumor is removed, Granger allows some unknown government lackey to transcribe his life story: a patriotic, often cynical, sometimes paranoid, but always engaging recitation. He shares the horrors of Vietnam and his encounter with Clayton Fire Bear, the fake name of a Native American to whom he owes an apology. He describes his family relationships: his love for his granddaughter; his semi-estrangement with Hank, his pretentious son; and his tragic marriage to Hank's mother, Jessica, which began as an effort to save her life after being raped and impregnated and ended years later with her suicide. Granger's life is rife with instances that either prove or belie his reputation as a xenophobic, racist homophobe. Identifying the "you" in the title proves illuminating; is it Clayton Fire Bear, Hank-who until now was ignorant about his paternity-or Granger himself, who tried and failed to keep Jessica's demons at bay and too late realized she returned the favor with more subtlety and success? (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Veterans -- Fiction.
Brain -- Tumors -- Fiction.
Wives -- Death -- Fiction.
Agent Orange -- Fiction.
Health -- Psychological aspects -- Fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Publisher New York, NY :2017
Edition First edition.
Other Titles Reason you are alive
Language English
Description 226 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780062424303
0062424300
Other Classic View