The Reason You’re Alive

Matthew Quick. Harper, $25.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-242430-3
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)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2017
Release date: 07/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-5384-1915-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-268158-4
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4434-4811-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4434-5439-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1913-7
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-06-267092-2
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-06-242434-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-1914-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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