The Reason You're Alive
When sixty-eight-year-old Vietnam War veteran David Granger wakes up from emergency surgery, he finds himself repeating a name: Clayton Fire Bear, a soldier from whom he stole something long ago. And now, David knows he must make amends. It might be the only way to find happiness in a world increasingly at odds with the one he served to protect, and it might also help him recover from the loss of the wife he grieves for every day.
Motivated by his adoring young granddaughter, Ella, David sets out to confront his past in order to salvage his present. Grumpy and argumentative he may be, but ultimately The Reason You're Alive challenges us to look beyond our own prejudices and search for the good in others.
In the media
Quick’s prose is sharp and cutting . . . The Reason You’re Alive is a compact powerhouse of a novel. Though brief, it’s subversive, unexpected, and utterly compelling
Booklist (Starred Review)
Scorching family drama . . . narrated with ire and eloquence by David Granger, a Vietnam vet . . . It’s as if Holden Caulfield grew up to be a reflective, even soulful, Archie Bunker. David’s voice is intimate, personal, occasionally poetic and sensible, even sympathetic . . . the force of David’s voice is electric . . . a touching, old-fashioned drama about the ties that sometimes choke, but always bind
Dysfunctional families are Matthew Quick’s specialty, and the latest novel from the author of The Silver Linings Playbook doesn’t deviate from that focus. The Reason You’re Alive deals with the impact of PTSD, depression, and adultery on a Philadelphia family, but also zooms in on the especially sharp divides created by America’s culture wars . . . laugh-out-loud funny . . . fundamentally about the power to forgive both yourself and others . . . full of intriguing supporting characters . . . its mix of breezy humor and poignant reveals is perfect for the big screen. It’s not likely to solve too many family feuds, but there is merit in its message that people are rarely entirely as they seem
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 . . . When readers make it to the Capra-esque final pages, they are almost certain to shed a feel-good tear or two