Review – Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Forgive me Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Published: August 13th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fiction, Young adult
Pages: 288

“Not letting the world destroy you. That’s a daily battle.”

I discovered Matthew Quick after watching Silver lining playbook, which is one of my all time favorite movies. The story just spoke to me on another level so I picked up the book after watching the movie. (As per usual, the book is better.)

When I stumbled upon Forgive me Leonard Peacock on audible there was no doubt that it would be my next “read”. (Do people count audiobooks as reading?)

Now a little intro: without doing much research on the topic, I believe that Matthew Quick writes primarily about mental health. I believe that he must have this presence in his life as he writes about it from an insider’s point of view. He just gets it in some way, without it being clishé or too much of anything, it just comes out human.

Now about the book: Leonard Peacock is turning 18 today and he has decided that this will be his last birthday, because today he’s going to kill his former best friend and then himself with his grandfather’s old P-38 pistol.

We follow Leonard through his day, his thoughts and his letters from the future and we hope with all we have that something will steer him off course as we are helpless spectators in a desperate cry for help.

I recognize the agonizing rationalizations of “if only this one thing happens, then I won’t do it”, like you’re hoping something will get in your way, but nothing does. That helplessness that you can feel when you’re crying inside an the people looking straight at you can’t see it.

“I’m trying to let him know what I’m about to do.
I’m hoping he can save me, even though I realize he can’t.”

I listened to this on audible, but the narration was too much for me, I wished I had read it instead. It would have allowed me more tenderness in the difficult parts. And who am I kidding, it’s all difficult parts.

With the bitterness in the voice of the narrator, and the need for a connection, it reminded me at times of the catcher in the rye, which I loved as well.

This book gave me pause to think of the roles we play in peoples lives and how simple acts of kindness can make a world of difference. And with that, I hope you reading this, have something to look forward to today. And I thank you for reading, and being my something special for the day.

“DO ANYTHING! SOMETHING! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with every breath you take.”