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Book Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick


Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

This provocative novel opens with an alarming premise. It is Leonard Peacock’s eighteenth birthday and he has decided to kill his former best friend and then shoot himself. But before he goes through with these grisly deeds, he first plans to deliver four presents to people that he cares about. The first present he delivers is for his next door neighbour with whom he enjoys watching Humphrey Bogart movies. Another present is for a young woman who he’d like to kiss before he dies. There is a gifted violinist at his school that he also plans to give a special gift to. Another present is for the teacher who teaches a class on the Holocaust. Each time Leonard gives someone a gift the reader learns more about his life and why he is feeling suicidal – and what happened to cause the massive rift between him and the boy who was for so long his best friend.

To begin with this feels like a grim read, but within a few chapters it is clear that this is going to be a novel about hope. This a powerful read with strong themes that is written in a distinctive and edgy style, a book I would definitely recommend.

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