Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock Review

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I've had Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock for a long time now but it's only now that I had the time to sit down and write a review, while I'm waiting for the dining hall to open. Such is life.

Matthew Quick is also the author of The Silver Linings Playbook, a book that I haven't read but heard good things about the movie. Of course, I can't make a comparison between books and their corresponding movie adaptations but if Jennifer Lawrence was in the movie version and it won an Oscar, the book can't be all that bad, can it?

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was--that I couldn't stick around--and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault. 

Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol. 

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart--obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches. 

In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made--and the light in us all that never goes out.

Leonard Peacock is an intelligent boy but his mother is absent from his life, both physically and mentally, causing him to feel alone in his life. Leonard's only friend is his neighbor, an eighty-something year old man, with whom he spends his time watching Bogart films. Herr Silverman, the Holocaust teacher, is another positive influence on Leonard's life.

Ultimately, Leonard's confusion, anger and loneliness builds on his 18th birthday and he wants to commit suicide after saying goodbye to the people who matter the most in his life.

Leonard Peacock is suicidal but Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock isn't at all a sad, depressing read. It's heavy, for sure, but not sad or depressing. Quick intersperses footnotes throughout the novel, giving the reader a glimpse into Leonard's mind, which is often times, biting and sarcastic. The footnotes give the story a lighter feel yet at times, I was bothered by how often they appeared in the story. I had to keep stopping, find the corresponding footnote, read the footnote and go back to the actual story. By the end, I started to skip footnotes.

While the footnotes were an issue, the more frustrating thing was the letters from the future. I read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock going in, thinking that it was a contemporary novel. Instead, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, becomes a borderline dystopian novel (at least the world that's portrayed in the letters from the future). While I understand that there needs to be a message of "It gets better" and that life isn't perfect, it was a little disconcerting and disorienting. I think Quick could've went about it in a different way (though an epilogue is out of the question since they always seem to be either bright, sunny and happy or sad and depressing, glossing over the story).

Overall, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is an intriguing read, despite the fact that there were some things that took some getting used to.


  1. Urgh, worst buzzfeed article ever was this one that made you cringe every time you saw holes. I don't remember what the phobia was called but it was awful.

  2. I don't really read Buzzfeed, but this post was awesome. haha I love it. :D

  3. Thank you! Buzzfeed is so addictive so it's probably good that you're not on it that much. :)

  4. NO. WAY. I hate holes. A quick google search tells me it's trypophobia?

  5. Kelly TheWellReadRedheadNovember 9, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    Yes, the library SHOULD have everything!!! I get so irked when I want a book RIGHTNOW and the library doesn't own even one singular copy. Seriously??

  6. I have irrational OCD tendencies as well, so I RELATE TO YOU about the BuzzFeed article, the hairs on the coat, and the bookish annoyances. Dog eared pages are one of my literary pet peeves. It's one thing to fold the pages of a book you own, but why would you vandalize a library copy, tormenting everyone who reads it after you? I don't understand people.

  7. Tsk, tsk on libraries. It's so nice that I can request books from other branches/ libraries, though. It makes it slightly better.

  8. People are confusing sometimes. WHY WOULD PEOPLE DO THAT TO A PUBLIC BOOK? I have to fold the corner back to normal but then the crease starts to irritate me. Alas, OCD.

  9. I don't think I have OCD tendencies, but I hate dog ears. Especially when people do it to public books.. it's not your property, so be careful with it.

  10. Exactly! It annoys me as well when I find library books with underlined passages? Say, whatttt?

  11. Hahaha this post had me literally cracking up. I do agree with you, I HATE AND LOATHE dog eared pages. Which is why no one is allowed to borrow my books. I almost have a panic attack while watching people pick up my books... much less being alone with one.

    And when the library doesn't have a book in that I want to read. I literally want to give up on life.

    Thanks for the entertaining post!
    Kayla Graham
    K.G. INC

  12. Yeah, that sounds right. It was TRAUMATIZING

  13. I found the post and ugh, I couldn't get through it. It was horrible.

  14. I know! Good thing I can request books from other libraries because I don't know how I'd do it. I get so annoyed when my book comes back to me in a worse condition than when I gave it out.

  15. *breathes into a paper bag*

    That BuzzFeed article made me cringe and cringe and stupid books are the worst. I hate dog-earing and I've pretty much stopped lending my books. Go buy your own's my motto. Ha.

  16. LOL! I love this post because it's basically how I felt about the last book I read. AWFUL.

  17. Jos├ęphine @ Dudette ReadsNovember 15, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Aaaah! The BuzzFeed article made me cringe so bad! And #28 is THE most cruel gif EVER. Just thinking about the article makes me want to cry.

    Also, this is why I reserve books the moment they hit the shelves at the library, so that I get to be the first to read to read new books. Whenever I pick books from the shelves, I flip through them to make sure they're in pristine condition. When they're not, I try not to drop them in horror. Haha. Good thing I've my OCD-ish tendencies under control, otherwise I wouldn't be able to take advantage of libraries.

  18. I KNOW RIGHT?! The whole article just got progressively worse, lol.

    For me, I'm okay with library books that aren't in pristine condition but when they're not I cringe inside and wonder how they even got to that condition in the first place. Why would people dogear book pages when they're probably have a spare piece of paper/scrap next to them? Why is there a coffee stain (Why are they drinking coffee and reading?)? Ultimately, why are they even doing potentially damaging things to books that aren't theirs?


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