The Reason You're Alive: A Novel by Matthew QuickThe Reason You're Alive: A Novel by Matthew Quick

The Reason You're Alive: A Novel

byMatthew Quick

Paperback | July 4, 2017

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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.

Matthew Quick graduated with a double-majored in English and secondary education from La Salle University in 1996. He taught literature and film at Haddonfield Memorial High School in New Jersey for several years, before leaving in 2004 to become a fiction writer. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Goddard Col...
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Title:The Reason You're Alive: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.6 inPublished:July 4, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443448095

ISBN - 13:9781443448093

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Didn't think I'd like it but ended up LOVING it. As I was reading the opening chapters of this book, I thought I'd made a mistake and selected the wrong book. I couldn't identify with David Granger, the main character and wasn't comfortable with his colourful language. I had pondered abandoning the book but recalling how much I had enjoyed one of his previous novels, I decided to read at least a few more chapters. With each passing chapter, David's abrasive cover was chipped away and I began to meet the proud Vietnam vet who thrived below. I was soon hanging on every word of this man I had thought I couldn't like. There was so much more to him than first appearances could convey. His frank way of talking and his colourful choice of words combined for a refreshing character. By the time I reached the mid-point of the book, I could not put it down. I had to learn how he would resolve his greatest regret. At time, I did have to stop reading to wipe away copious tears. Some how, a man I didn't think I could understand made me care about him. An excellent story. It brought me face to face with a time, and soldiers I had only seen portrayed in movies. #IndigoEmployee
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not at all what I expected from the first chapter - in a good way July 4th seems like the right day to review Matthew Quick's new novel - The Reason You're Alive. David Granger is a sixty eight year old Vietnam vet. He's also a father, a grandfather, a widower, a businessman, a friend, an enemy and a man with a brain tumor. The book opens with Granger recovering in hospital from surgery, seemingly reporting to a 'government representative' about his past. Specifically about a man he calls Clayton Fire Bear. "But I can't tell you everything about Fire Bear before I put it all in context." But there's also another driving force behind his staying alive... his son and granddaughter ...."My old man's dying words echoed in my head once more. It was clear that I had one last mission. And I always, always, always complete my mission." And so begins David Granger's tale..... I must admit I was hesitant when I first started reading The Reason You're Alive. Granger is a 'tell it like I see it' narrator. His language is not politically correct or are some of his viewpoints. I continued though, as I was curious as to where Quick would take Granger's life. And in the end, I was so very glad I did - by the last few chapters I had tears in my eyes. (and a few other times as well) Yup, that much of a turnaround. I think we've all met a David Granger - gruff words and exteriors hide the fortitude, resolve, pain, stoicism and more behind the front presented to the world. The foreshadowing at the end of many chapters had me reading 'just another chapter' until I finished all 240 pages in a morning. I enjoyed the dark humour peppered throughout. Quick's depiction of a vet with PTSD is eye opening, frightening and truly saddening. But the book itself also funny, redemptive and heartwarming. As with previous Quick books, there are some plot pieces that seemed a little far fetched - but that's the type of book and characters I have come to expect and enjoy from Quick. The Reason You're Alive is clever, serendipitous and so very good. If you enjoyed The Silver Linings Playbook, this is a book you'll enjoy as well. (And it is being developed for film as well.)
Date published: 2017-07-04

Editorial Reviews

“Surprising.... At the core of the novel is the voice of David Granger, a combination of Archie Bunker and Marlow of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.... A valuable addition to fiction about the tangled aftereffects of Vietnam on soldiers in the field.”