The Reason You're Alive
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 might be the only way to find closure in a world increasingly at odds with the one he served to protect. It might also help him 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 goodhearted 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.

The Reason You're Alive Details

TitleThe Reason You're Alive
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 4th, 2017
PublisherHarper
ISBN0062424300
ISBN-139780062424303
Number of pages240 pages
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Adult, Adult Fiction, Young Adult

The Reason You're Alive Review

  • Thadeus
    October 15, 2016
    OMG A NEW MATTHEW QUICK NOVEL!!!! MY BODY IS READY. July 4, 2017?!
  • Kasa Cotugno
    June 3, 2017
    While reviewing an earlier book by Matthew Quick, I remarked that he wrote about men "on the edge of normalcy" who eventually find completion by the final page. This is another such study. In this case, David Granger has been harboring a long running case of PTSD. Fifty years worth. In the years since his time in the jungles of Viet Nam, he has managed to construct a life for himself outwardly prosperous, but inwardly screaming. As with his earlier books, Quick unspools the story through writing While reviewing an earlier book by Matthew Quick, I remarked that he wrote about men "on the edge of normalcy" who eventually find completion by the final page. This is another such study. In this case, David Granger has been harboring a long running case of PTSD. Fifty years worth. In the years since his time in the jungles of Viet Nam, he has managed to construct a life for himself outwardly prosperous, but inwardly screaming. As with his earlier books, Quick unspools the story through writing to a third party. And as in his earlier books, his protagonist is damaged, aware so, and surprised at his ultimate redemption. I don't know if there is such a thing as a male version of chicklit, but if there is, Quick's books would fall into such a category (along with those of, say, Jonathan Tropper).
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  • Mary
    April 25, 2017
    "Only the good die young, and I've lived nasty.Live nasty, live forever."I loved this book! David was a crusty old Vietnam Veteran who wasn't afraid to say what he thought. He wore camo everyday and his views were pretty far to the right. David's son, Hank, was the complete opposite and very liberal. I loved all of the quirky characters in the book- David, Hank, Sue, Frank, Fire Bear and David's dad. In the beginning of the book I wasn't sure what to think of David, but he grew on me and I ended "Only the good die young, and I've lived nasty.Live nasty, live forever."I loved this book! David was a crusty old Vietnam Veteran who wasn't afraid to say what he thought. He wore camo everyday and his views were pretty far to the right. David's son, Hank, was the complete opposite and very liberal. I loved all of the quirky characters in the book- David, Hank, Sue, Frank, Fire Bear and David's dad. In the beginning of the book I wasn't sure what to think of David, but he grew on me and I ended up loving him. The Reason You're Alive is proof that you can't judge a person solely on what you see on the outside.This book was so realistic to me. I've worked with Veterans at a VA Clinic for over 20 years and these characters reminded me of Veterans I know. I see Vietnam Veterans like David everyday and Matthew Quick nailed it. This book had me laughing out loud and a few times I was teary-eyed. There were so many great lines in the book- I wish I would have marked all of them. I need to re-read it again just so I can go back to highlight everything.I'm honored to have received a early copy of The Reason You're Alive. I'm not a blogger, just a huge fan of good books and Matthew Quick.
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  • KBev
    April 22, 2017
    So so hilarious and politically incorrect - but honest. Such a strong voice in the narrator of this book. Completely believable and lovable, even though he's constantly saying & thinking terrible things. I laughed out loud multiple times. Matthew Quick has been pretty hit or miss with his last couple books, but this one is definitely a hit.
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  • Dixie Keyes
    March 9, 2017
    Quick's talent erupts again in this novel that is at once unlike anything he's written before yet fully Quick-like. He invents another unique style that makes us scratch our head while we leave the story feeling like we've just found a nugget of pure gold. I hated the main character and loved him too. I despised most of his language and the way he glorified himself as a war vet, yet I valued the ways he hated the war and the things he did because of it. Quick seems to be able to take on the voic Quick's talent erupts again in this novel that is at once unlike anything he's written before yet fully Quick-like. He invents another unique style that makes us scratch our head while we leave the story feeling like we've just found a nugget of pure gold. I hated the main character and loved him too. I despised most of his language and the way he glorified himself as a war vet, yet I valued the ways he hated the war and the things he did because of it. Quick seems to be able to take on the voice and soul of any character he invents; this one may have taken the most emotional toil out of him as a writer--ever--I would venture to say. A tough novel to write, yet one that compels us to look deeper into people who are dented, damaged, and dangerous to find their hope, no matter how deep it may be buried. This novel is headed to the big screen, so don't miss the written version. Fantastic!
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  • Ann
    June 24, 2017
    This was the 5th book I've read by M. Quick and my absolute favorite of all!!
  • Megan • Reading Books Like a Boss (book blog)
    May 13, 2017
    So, so good!! Review to come closer to release date! For now, I highly recommend it! My Website • Facebook • Twitter • Pinterest • Instagram • Subscribe by Email****************★★UPCOMING BOOK RELEASES★★****************
  • Suzanne
    June 28, 2017
    Is David Granger a lovable curmudgeon or something darker, a warrior who's outlived a war, left fighting unknown enemies hidden in plain sight? Author Matthew Quick explores his protagonist, Granger, through the lives of his friends and family in ways large and small. There's no question but that he has created a flesh and blood character, one that leaps off the page and into our thoughts. If we are quick to discount Granger early in the book, for whatever reason, we learn the full scope of him Is David Granger a lovable curmudgeon or something darker, a warrior who's outlived a war, left fighting unknown enemies hidden in plain sight? Author Matthew Quick explores his protagonist, Granger, through the lives of his friends and family in ways large and small. There's no question but that he has created a flesh and blood character, one that leaps off the page and into our thoughts. If we are quick to discount Granger early in the book, for whatever reason, we learn the full scope of him by the end. He's a fantastic character; his story, the book, is great and not easy to stop once begun. This one is a real treat from an author that is reliably good. I received my copy from the publisher through edelweiss.
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  • Christine Mancini
    May 9, 2017
    David Granger is a compelling character who at times can break your heart.... and at others well you will find out! A sad tale of life once he returns from Vietnam and how he comes to grips with his demons. You see that he is a complex person with a good heart. As you travel on this journey with him you learn how he has payed it forward throughout the years. Does he come to terms with the biggest demon from his time in the jungle? What truly is The Reason You're Alive? Does it apply to David or David Granger is a compelling character who at times can break your heart.... and at others well you will find out! A sad tale of life once he returns from Vietnam and how he comes to grips with his demons. You see that he is a complex person with a good heart. As you travel on this journey with him you learn how he has payed it forward throughout the years. Does he come to terms with the biggest demon from his time in the jungle? What truly is The Reason You're Alive? Does it apply to David or someone else? I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and complex. At times truly heartbreaking.A powerful reading experience!
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  • Katie
    June 23, 2017
    Wow. I have to let this book sink in a little before I write a full review, but this is a story and character that will stay with me for a while. Quick did an amazing job at finding the voice and heart of David Granger that made me say wow, over and over again. And in the words of Granger, I'm not ashamed to admit that that I cried some "girly-man tears" near the end. Can't think of the last time that happened and I'm as equally sad that the book is over. I'm interested to hear who will read the Wow. I have to let this book sink in a little before I write a full review, but this is a story and character that will stay with me for a while. Quick did an amazing job at finding the voice and heart of David Granger that made me say wow, over and over again. And in the words of Granger, I'm not ashamed to admit that that I cried some "girly-man tears" near the end. Can't think of the last time that happened and I'm as equally sad that the book is over. I'm interested to hear who will read the audio book, I might just have to listen to it once it's released!
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  • Rachel Watkins
    May 4, 2017
    Master storyteller Matthew Quick does the impossible in THE REASON YOU'RE ALIVE: creates a most unlikeable character in David Granger who ends up stealing your heart. A medical incident prompts veteran Granger to finally find and confront his nemesis from Vietnam. This journey changes Granger and his family and friends forever. Highly recommend.
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  • Michelle
    June 19, 2017
    I'm 60% through the book and I'm still waiting for it to get to the point. I'm just not connecting with these characters. They're all really unlikable and obnoxious. Trying very hard to finish this book, but I honestly don't care enough to finish it or not.
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  • Mary Librarian
    May 24, 2017
    Very thought provoking with high caliber writing. The f-word was used more than I like but was right for the story.From advanced reader copy.
  • Girl Well Read
    January 17, 2017
    A special thank you to Edelweiss and Harper for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.You may be familiar with Quick because of the success of The Silver Linings Playbook—isn't that such a great title? I had not read anything of his and happily requested this book because The Silver Linings Playbook was such a fantastic movie, not just because of Bradley Cooper, but because of the story.David Granger is a sixty-eight-year-old Vietnam vet that has crashed his BMW. Upon further testing, it is re A special thank you to Edelweiss and Harper for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.You may be familiar with Quick because of the success of The Silver Linings Playbook—isn't that such a great title? I had not read anything of his and happily requested this book because The Silver Linings Playbook was such a fantastic movie, not just because of Bradley Cooper, but because of the story.David Granger is a sixty-eight-year-old Vietnam vet that has crashed his BMW. Upon further testing, it is revealed that he has a brain tumour that he attributes to his exposure to Agent Orange. In the twilight from surgery, David repeats the name "Clayton Fire Bear" over and over. Fire Bear a Native American soldier that Granger had the task of disciplining during the war, and his nemeses. Granger stole something from him and decides that in order to make peace with his life, he must return it. In search of closure, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery; this may save his sanity and help him deal with the loss of his beloved wife.He is an incredibly multi-faceted character that is hanging on to his not so politically correct ideals in a changing world. There is so much he doesn't understand, yet he ploughs forward, and stumbles his way through awkward social situations and modern American life with the help of his loved ones. At times his behaviour is cringe-worthy, but under the surface is a kind, patriotic, honourable, and compassionate man. I loved the book and by the end I absolutely adored David, even with his many flaws. His outspokenness was so comedic yet strangely endearing. Pick this up, you'll be so glad you did!
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  • Michael
    February 1, 2017
    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, Da 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.
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  • Bianca Walters
    March 9, 2017
    Sometimes a book can encompass all that's happening seamlessly, and weeks after reading The Reason You're Alive I'm still realizing how fully this was accomplished - new layers, new meanings in characters and outcomes that correlate to these tense times. The writing is sharp, the plot marching through emotional jungle at a steady but urgent pace. Quick's main character is inescapably abrasive, even as he shows himself to be more than just a one dimensional old-jerk-who-hates-everyone-and-is-raci Sometimes a book can encompass all that's happening seamlessly, and weeks after reading The Reason You're Alive I'm still realizing how fully this was accomplished - new layers, new meanings in characters and outcomes that correlate to these tense times. The writing is sharp, the plot marching through emotional jungle at a steady but urgent pace. Quick's main character is inescapably abrasive, even as he shows himself to be more than just a one dimensional old-jerk-who-hates-everyone-and-is-racist guy. As I read, I not only enjoyed the writing, but saw my family in this family (though we actually have very little in common) and thought of person after person in my life that needs to read this book."Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book." — John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
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  • Marika
    November 28, 2016
    68 year old David Granger is a stranger in a strange land. He can't quite grasp the new rules of being PC in America, (mortifying to his ultra liberal son) and it seems like he is up against everyone. That is except for his gay, African American, and his best friend Sue, who is a Vietnamese-American. David also happens to be an opinionated curmudgeon who is fighting to stay patriotic, and make amends for his past mistakes, even as his world changes. This book is best described as a mashup of A M 68 year old David Granger is a stranger in a strange land. He can't quite grasp the new rules of being PC in America, (mortifying to his ultra liberal son) and it seems like he is up against everyone. That is except for his gay, African American, and his best friend Sue, who is a Vietnamese-American. David also happens to be an opinionated curmudgeon who is fighting to stay patriotic, and make amends for his past mistakes, even as his world changes. This book is best described as a mashup of A Man Called Ove and A Confederacy of Dunces and will challenge readers to examine their own prejudices. One of the best books that I’ve read in a long time.Note: I received a free review copy of this book and was not compensated for it.
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  • Melanie
    January 27, 2017
    David Granger is a conservative, sixty-eight-year-old, Vietnam veteran with a bleeding-heart liberal son, a granddaughter who needs him, and a whole lot of emotional baggage from his time in Vietnam. He is patriotic and brash, and he has no problem expressing his opinion. In a politically divided culture, where people with different political views struggle to understand each other, this story has incredible value. I wanted to dislike this protagonist with views so different from my own, but I c David Granger is a conservative, sixty-eight-year-old, Vietnam veteran with a bleeding-heart liberal son, a granddaughter who needs him, and a whole lot of emotional baggage from his time in Vietnam. He is patriotic and brash, and he has no problem expressing his opinion. In a politically divided culture, where people with different political views struggle to understand each other, this story has incredible value. I wanted to dislike this protagonist with views so different from my own, but I couldn't. He was kind and caring and his story pulled at my heart.
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  • Amy Hafer
    January 24, 2017
    Read this ARC all the way home after hearing the author speak about his Uncle Pete. A very moving a relatable story.
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