Reviews

“Quick’s prose is sharp and cutting …. a compact powerhouse of a novel …. subversive, unexpected, and utterly compelling.” Booklist *STARRED REVIEW*

“Quick insightfully presents a person who is more than the sum of his personal politics, showing how selfish instincts battle nobler ones–a valuable lesson in increasingly politically stratified times …. provides a deeper discussion about divisive politics.” Shelf Awareness *STARRED REVIEW*

“Quick delivers an exceptional novel …. will connect with readers of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.” Library Journal *STARRED REVIEW*

“Quick’s novel does not undercut either political pole as much as the entire divisive state of modern discourse …. irreverent and hilarious. Quick offers timely reminders that real people exist behind stereotypes and humanity is complex but beautiful in its messiness, even if it takes a little extra time and effort beyond a knee-jerk to see it.” Lincoln Journal Star

“Poignant and uproarious …. a novel that thrums with energy …. a vibrant and compassionate tale of a complex man finding his way in a divided America.” StarTribune

“…emotionally brilliant.” Worcester Telegram

“…this is an extremely powerful book, depicting the crushing damage the Vietnam War inflicted on a generation of many of our best young men …. As a psychiatrist in the USAF from 1968 to 1970 (in a non-combat role, thank God) I can attest to this book’s accuracy. If anything, it soft-pedals the reality.” Bruce Crane, The Missourian

“…vibrant and engaging…” Southern Living

“Scorching …. The Reason You’re Alive is narrated with ire and eloquence by David Granger …. It’s as if Holden Caulfield grew up to be a reflective, even soulful, Archie Bunker …. A touching, old-fashioned drama about the ties that sometimes choke, but always bind.” BookPage

“Brutally honest. Profoundly beautiful. Extremely relevant …. undoubtedly one of the most profoundly moving stories of 2017.” Fully Booked

“The role of David Granger may someday be played by an Oscar-hungry actor. But that shouldn’t distract from the vivid, high-definition protagonist that already glows from the page …. honesty gives this first-person narrative its potency. It also supplies the humor .… This novel offers … a hope that we have the capacity to get beyond what offends us about one another.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Quick masterfully teases out David’s character, showing that beneath the loud-mouthed bravado lies a deeply wounded human being …. Few writers could make a character such as David likable — yet, Quick manages to make him lovable, and shows there is hope for anyone to change.” Winnipeg Free Press

“Quick masterfully skewers bias from both the left and the right with humor and grace …. The book is funny, tragic, hopeful and shows how our polarized views keep us from truly seeing that we’re all more alike than different.” LaSalle News Tribune

“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.” Kirkus Reviews

“Dark, funny, and surprisingly tender.” Publishers Weekly

“Matthew Quick has created a tragicomic portrait, at once disturbing and poignant, of a complex antihero …. The Reason You’re Alive tells a dark yet hopeful tale that spans both sides of a fractured America.” The Sydney Morning Herald

“…the major element of [Quick’s] stories, at least the ones that I’ve read, is this: that people must be loved as they are if change is ever a possibility …. The only starting point, at least from his pen, is the human being sitting right in front of you. Not who you wish they were, not who they could be if only they had the enlightening facts to get them there, not even who they themselves see themselves to be right now. Instead, love cuts right through the BS to the wounded soul below. It sees that one, damned and hoping to atone, gives them a place to stay, and gives them yet another chance at living.” Mockingbird

“Compelling …. deep and insightful.” The Pilot

“Quick’s … greatest strength is the complexity in which he paints his characters. Love or hate him, David Granger’s chainsaw-toothed voice, and the stories he tells with it, will linger with you. When Quick writes characters, he wants honest portrayals. He wants their good and bad, and above all their honesty.” Northeast Times

“Think about someone in your family whose politics and biases make your blood boil. Then think about what it would take to love them (and actually understand them). This book is a hilarious study in compassion.” Musing

“Mischievous, outrageous, and unforgettable.” Summer Says

“It is absolutely hysterical, honest, blunt, heart-wrenching, endearing …. it’s a rollercoaster ride of all the emotions …. Matthew Quick is such a beautiful writer.” Narrator R.C. Bray

“…touching and often laugh-out-loud funny.” Asheville Citizen-Times Part of the USA Today Network

“It’s a supremely well written piece; a beautifully crafted character study…” The Lesser Column

“Should be required reading for every American right now.” Readers Lane

“Quick has an amazing ability to build characters who are big-hearted and hopeful even in the face of great tragedy, heartbreak, and trauma. In this case, once you get beneath the camo and insults, you begin to really see Granger.” Writer’s Bone

“The Reason You’re Alive is fundamentally about the power to forgive both yourself and others …. Quick forces both readers and characters to reexamine their first impressions through his narrator …. In classic Quick fashion, the novel is full of intriguing supporting characters.” A.V. Club

“David’s voice is completely distinctive and compelling — one that captures your attention from the first paragraph. David’s story will leave readers laughing one minute and crying the next. Another hit from Quick!” RT Book Reviews TOP PICK!

“With his signature serendipitous flair, Matthew Quick delivers yet another honest and insightful novel.” POPSUGAR Book Club: August’s Best New Releases

“Must-read.” & “Quick performs a nifty literary magic trick …. By book’s end, everyone will wind up loving the camouflage-wearing, knife-carrying sociopath.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Perfect for beach reading …. engaging.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Quick is no stranger to creating compelling characters. You’ll be instantly drawn to his latest, David Granger, a vet who goes on a journey to explore his past while trying to understand a modern America that is constantly evolving.” BookTrib

“A poignant work and a must-read this summer.” New York Journal Of Books

“You’ll fly out the end, maybe even in one sitting, full of fondness.” Shawangunk Journal

“…we need more books like this. Books that challenge your world view regardless of where you stand on the ‘right or left’ scale. Books and stories that encourage tolerance of others, even if you don’t agree with everything that they’re saying. And not just putting people into a box or category just because they used a word that you think is racist or inappropriate. But taking the time to see where these people are coming from and not just shaming people for their thoughts.” Juliet Report

“This new novel from the author of Silver Linings Playbook spotlights an unlikely hero, and a father-son relationship, with wry warmth and humor.” National Book Review

“In our current politically divided culture, where people with different views struggle to understand each other, this story has incredible value. I wanted to dislike this protagonist, whose views are so different from my own, but I couldn’t. He was kind and caring and his story pulled at my heart.” July 2017 Indie Next List – Melanie Locke, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

“You will laugh, you will cry, you will think twice. Maybe three times. And that is the success of Quick’s book, and David Granger’s life.” Terry Tazioli – University Book Store, Seattle, WA

“Although there are currently numerous nonfiction titles devoted to the subject, reading The Reason You’re Alive will help you understand the current polarization of our nation–it all started with Vietnam and it’s been festering ever since. Who thought fiction could be so educational?” Darwin Ellis – Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT

“Just incredible. [A] mashup of A MAN CALLED OVE & A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES.” Marika Zemke – Commerce Township Public Library, MI

“I love love LOVED it!! Cannot wait to see you at Parnassus Books this summer! We will sell the hell out of this for you!” Sissy Kuhlke Gardner – Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

“I would not trust many authors to write David Granger, to navigate his thoughts with such raw honesty, but knowing that Matthew Quick was behind this character and his life’s story was what kept me going. It wasn’t difficult, either. Quick did a phenomenal job with this story.” Natalie Sober – A Very Little Bookstore, Summerville, SC

“Funny & tender.” Susan Taylor – Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

“The Reason You’re Alive is laugh-out-loud hilarious, with David’s honest and sometimes politically incorrect viewpoints. I found myself giggling a lot throughout the entire book and am in love with David’s honesty.” Kristen Beverly – Half Price Books, Dallas, TX

“Granger isn’t subtle; he’s direct, brash, and opinionated, but he occasionally allows his conflicts and demons to be exposed. Bray understands this character, and his performance, which consistently hits the dramatic, shocking, and humorous notes expertly, is simply remarkable. This is one of the best matches of material to narrator this year.” AudioFile, S.P.C. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (audiobook review)