Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick


Actual Rating: 3.5-4 Stars

Honestly, I’m actually quite disappointed that I didn’t like this book as much as I expected. But believe me, I wanted to like this book. I wanted to be sobbing in bed past midnight. Unfortunately, despite what I was promised by countless reviews on Goodreads, tears evaded me, I just didn’t get into this as much as I should have. I do recommend this book, however, this is a classic its-not-you-its-me situation, and it is a good book.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is about Leonard Peacock, who, on his 18th birthday, decides to take his grandfather’s P-38 pistol to first kill his former best friend, and then himself. But first he says goodbye to those he cares about most, and reveals his story along the way.

This is an excellently written book, the narration seamlessly conveying the intense physiological struggle Leonard is going through. As with all first-person narratives, we go into Leonard’s head and become very well acquainted with Leonard and his thoughts, which could not have been accomplished as well had this been a 3rd-person narrative. The side characters are all layered and well-developed as well, Quick doesn’t follow the leads of many other authors whose side character’s actions mirror the plot and have no substance of their own.

However, where my issues for this book begin is with the conclusion. I’m complaining, but Quick leaves most loose ends just that, loose ends, and we never really see a conclusion for most plot threads. However, I understand that loose ends are not all wrapped up in a neat little bow in real life, but it would have been nice to receive some more closure.

The other reason I didn’t get into this book as much as I would have is a reason I can’t explain entirely myself, it mostly has to do with personal preference. I wasn’t as emotionally invested as many others who read this book, and despite my best efforts, I wasn’t left with that lingering feeling that I’d just read something exceptional. This could be to blamed to the fact that I spent too much time reading reviews, and since I expected a good book, I set the bar too high and was more disappointed than I would have been. However, unlike others who disliked this book, I do not believe that Leonard’s reason to commit suicide wasn’t valid, as everyone deals with their situations differently.

This book also has features such as footnotes, which kept me flipping back and forth, but it worked, and “Letters from the Future,” which were confusing at first but add an excellent charm to this book.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, is an excellent book, just not for me. I do highly recommend if you are looking for a sweet, sad story that’s all too real.

Review by Aliza London