Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick is the kind of book that you don’t see very often anymore. It’s a beautiful story that will leave you questioning many aspects of human nature. In it, a boy named Leonard Peacock spends the entirety of his eighteenth birthday giving gifts to four of his friends before he kills his former best friend and then himself. He narrates his day while he reflects on his past and why he feels he needs to go through with his mission. Leonard is a rather strange boy whose friends are also all quite different – his best friend, for example, is an old man named Walt who is addicted to smoking and loves movies by Humphrey Bogart. Leonard also frowns upon the way other teenagers act and dreads the apparent monotony of adulthood, hence why he wants to kill himself. For example, he doesn’t understand why adults go to jobs they hate every day when they could be making themselves or other people happy. People tend to look down on him for these opinions, but Leonard is secretly brilliant – he has a sense of justice and perhaps a little whimsy that nobody can understand. Over the course of his birthday, Leonard learns quite a bit about not only the world around him, but also himself.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is so insightful that it’s almost persuasive. There simply aren’t enough people in the world like Leonard and his equally quirky friends. I think one of the most fascinating things about this story is the fact that some of Leonard’s opinions are actually quite true – we tend to ignore the wonders of life for what we think is “right”, such as doing well in work or school or following the latest trends. I got through this book extremely quickly because it’s so hard to put down. I’d highly recommend it, as you too may find yourself captivated by the world of Leonard Peacock.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Submitted by Lauren Leon