Reason You’re Alive is a feel-good experience
In “The Reason You’re Alive,” Matthew Quick performs a nifty literary magic trick.
The author of “The Silver Linings Playbook” introduces readers to David Granger, a politically incorrect Vietnam veteran who takes pride in the fact that he’s basically too ornery to die. By book’s end, everyone will wind up loving the camouflage-wearing, knife-carrying sociopath.
Turns out he’s really not such a bad guy once you get to know him.
“The Reason You’re Alive” is Granger telling his life story: going rogue and committing atrocities in the Vietnam jungle, coming home to a military psychiatric facility, marrying a woman more unstable than he is, and always at odds with his now-grown “ignorant” liberal art-dealer son.
Our protagonist ultimately goes on a mission to atone for an old transgression. He feels compelled to return a knife he stole nearly 50 years ago from his Vietnam nemesis: Clayton Fire Bear.
When readers make it to the Capra-esque final pages, they are almost certain to shed a feel-good tear or two. Our hero would bust their chops for all the “boohooing” and “girly-man behaviour,” but so be it.
Quick is adapting his book into a screenplay. Film rights were sold last year to Miramax.