2013 Book Reviews

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

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‘How would you spend your birthday if you knew it would be your last?

Eighteen-year-old Leonard Peacock knows exactly what he’ll do. He’ll say goodbye.

Not to his mum – who he calls Linda because it annoys her – who’s moved out and left him to fend for himself. Nor his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing the unthinkable. But to his four friends: a Humphrey Bogart obsessed neighbour, a teenage violin virtuoso, a pastor’s daughter and a teacher.

Most of the time, Leonard believes he’s weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he’s not. He wants to thanks them, and say goodbye.’

Firstly I want to say thank you to Sam Eades at Headline for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Matthew quick is the author of The Silver Linings Playbook, I haven’t read this. But since reading this I will certainly be reading it. This book was incredible and left me speechless.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when picking up the book, but what I got was unputdownable.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a harrowing story of a eighteen year old boy, who wants to not only kill himself but his best friend too.

On his eighteenth birthday Leonard spends the day saying goodbye to his only four friends and giving them presents. He doesn’t make anyone one else aware of his plans, but from the way they speak to Leonard they gather he is very sad and thinking about doing something.

The saddest thing about Leonard is two of his ‘friends’ include a old neighbour who he watches old movies with, never having proper conversations, just quoting lines form Bogart films.
Then his teacher, who promises to tell Leonard all about why he doesn’t roll up his shirt sleeves, if Leonard promises to call him if he feels really low and may feel like he might do something.

His two other ‘friends’ aren’t really his friends at all, a boy who plays music in the school hall who he watches everyday, without speaking too.
Then a girl who stands outside a train station delivering a message from god, who he fancies and questions thoroughly on religion.

His mother is constantly absent throughout the book and its heartbreaking that his own mother has no interest with her son, not even to remember his birthday was heartbreaking.

The story is told from Leonard’s voice and it is brutally honest and depressing. The footnotes throughout I found could of been added to the story instead, but they were very interesting either way.

In the story Leonard gets letters from the future which I found confusing until you read on and realise their significance.

This is a very, very dark and depressing read that will leave you gob smacked and saddened. I cried so much when the story finally came together and you realise why Leonard is so down on life.

Heartbreaking, gritty, harrowing and a real page turner that will leave you tearful.

But don’t think its all doom and gloom, the ending leaves you bursting with love for Leonard.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is out August 15th, here is how to pre-order your own copy;

http://amazon.co.uk/dp/147220915X

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