Book Reviews

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Matthew Quick (Book Review)

Leonard peacock

The make-or-break aspect of this book is Leonard Peacock. If you like him, you will love the book but if you don’t, you won’t be able to bear this book. The author here picks up the issues of depression and suicide and gives us an in-depth view of the thoughts and mind of a seventeen year old suffering through both.

The entire novel spans over one day, the date on which Leonard turns eighteen. Largely neglected by his mother, best friends with an elderly Bogart-obsessed neighbor and in awe with his teacher Herr Silverman, Leonard Peacock has been fighting suicidal thoughts since long. So today on his birthday, he has big plans of murder and suicide. He has his grandfather’s Nazi gun, and plans to kill his former bestfriend Ashton Beal (?) and then off himself with it. What happens? Does this crazy suicide mission succeed? Read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock to find out. 

I loved Leonard even though there were parts of him I found flawed. For one, Leonard thinks of himself as this special person, and the others as ‘ubermorons’. Even though yes he definitely is a ‘special snowflake’, has thoughts which every other random seventeen-year-old will never have, but yet, him being aware of his status, of his ‘special snowflake-ity’ is what irked me a bit and came out as a flaw of his.  Leonard comes out as a vain, self-absorbed prick but I still enjoyed reading about his thoughts and his random feelings about everything.

Going in-depth into Peacock’s mind is intense, because his brain is full of demented, crazy logic; his fear of adulthood, his sense of justice in murdering Ashton after what Ashton did to him; his thoughts about Laura (was that the station-girl’s name?) and more or less everything is twisted in some weird, cruel way, but it all makes sense and at the end of the day, I found myself sypmathizing with him. I definitely liked his characters, and all these thoughts and his behaviour was interesting and insightful.

Of course when you come to know actually happened betweeh Ahston and him, it’s sad and makes you ill. Even though we’ve read the same thing in nearly every other YA book which deals with this issue, the way Leonard relates his experience is painful.

One of the best aspects of this book are ‘letters from the future’ which are exactly what they sound like. These are letters which Leonard writes to himself, posing as someone from his future life. These are beautiful letters which make you hope for a future like the one in those letters and it gave an interesting view of Leonard’s life and mind.

And probably my favorite character in this book was Herr Silverman – who’s Leonard’s teacher in school and just about the only person who’s shown to care about him and wants him to live. Herr Silverman made me believe that sometimes help comes from the most unexpected of places and if there is even one person who cares about you enough, you should consider yourself lucky and talk to him about anything you’ve been thinking which you should not be thinking about, no matter what.

Quick’s writing is quirky, fast-paced and modern. It’s good writing and some of the quotes are absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend this book, and I think everyone should give it a try once!




4 thoughts on “Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Matthew Quick (Book Review)

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