Title: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Release Date: Out in Hardcover August 2013
If everyone read this book ,or a book like it, then the world may be a very different place. Too often we hear stories in the United States of young students who somehow get there hands on guns and take bloody revenge against their tormentors, and it is just as easy to write off these kids as insane anomalies in the program and move on. Very little pity is felt for the people doing the killing in these shootings. So it’s not often that we find a writer willing to write about them like any other character, especially from there point of view.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is one such story, of an intelligent, clever boy (although a bit misguided) seeks to rid the world of the bully who torments him and the only other person he thinks the world could do without; himself. However, as I mentioned, Leonard is not a heartless boy, and seeks to first give the only four friends he has something for each of them to remember him by, to show them that what they are going to hear about on the news is not there fault, and that he meant nothing but good for them. These four friends are some very colorful characters who will simultaneously warm and wrench your heart as Leonard makes his subtle goodbyes.
Quick’s style of writing is very organic, very natural, so much so that one wonders if it came out this way on purpose or if he just wrote his thoughts. His writings could easily immerse the reader into the mind of such a troubled young boy, thoughts flowing in and out just as they do in our real minds. This is important in understanding the thought process of someone planning murder-suicide, as none of us (I hope) have been along such a train of thought, it would be easy to get lost otherwise.
Our story opens with our anti-hero looking at his grandfather’s Walther P-38 sitting next to his bowl of Oatmeal and thinking about how it looks like a piece of modern art that appears to be making some sort of statement about the daily lives of men in the world today. He then reflects on how modern art isn’t going to matter to him in 24 hours anyhow. This sets the tone for most of the book; introspective and highly philosophical observations coupled with grim determination and revelations about the character’s life and the world we live in.
Just as the Catcher in the Rye was destined to be a classic despite it’s controversial topic, so Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock destined to be a book with a lesson to worth sharing for years to come. I recommend this book with the utmost fervor, and expect there to be a lot of buzz when this novel hits shelves in August.