Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock tells the story of Leonard Peacock’s eighteenth birthday. It’s not a difficult read, but it took me a while to get through because it has some heavy themes that sometimes you just want to leave on the bedside table for an evening. Leonard is a very troubled young man and Matthew Quick has a talent for writing deeply trouble characters.
“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.”
Leonard wakes up on his eighteenth birthday, his mother out of town on business, with a plan. He leaves for school with four gifts and a loaded P-38 pistol from his grandfather. Leonard has plans to kill his former best friend, Asher, after school that day but first must give his three friends and his favorite teacher gifts to remember him by. In a post-Columbine & Newtown and so many other violent school attacks it’s frustrating to see Leonard interact with people in authority positions because you hope to God it’s unrealistic that his behavior would have gone unnoticed. And maybe that’s a point that Quick is trying to make, that it’s easier for a guidance counselor to believe the lies coming out of a trouble teen’s mouth than investigate further.
“She’s just a high school guidance counselot after all. She can tell you what grade point average you need to get into Penn, but expecting more than that is pushing it.”
Personally, if you’re only going to read one novel about characters with well-written depression issues I’d recommend Silver Linings Playbook, but I wouldn’t want to deter you from reading Forgive Me as a distant second as well.
The oneother thing that annoyed me was there was some “quirky” font choices as you fall deeper into Leonard’s rabbit hole, but that’s a personal pet peeve.