Booktalk: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Forgive Me Leonard Peacock cover

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is, in many ways, difficult to read.  We shift back and forth between caring for our protagonist and getting irritated when he rubs us the wrong way.  He’s our hero, but he’s difficult to love.  We also see that he hasn’t been loved enough, and we wonder who, if anyone, will have the strength and the insight needed to save him.  As many of you know from reading Silver Linings Playbook or watching the movie, Matthew Quick is skilled at creating endearing yet flawed characters, and Leonard Peacock is another great example.


Today is Leonard Peacock’s 18th birthday, and he’s planning to kill himself.  But first, he needs to get a couple of things done.

Leonard wants to give some going-away presents to some of the most important people in his life.  Except, these people won’t realize that they’re going-away presents until it’s too late.  Leonard wants to give them presents because each of them managed to make his life feel a little less worthless.

After he gives those presents away, Leonard is planning to kill Asher Beal.  Asher used to be Leonard’s best friend, and then he turned into something else.  Asher is the main reason that Leonard wants to kill himself.

And then, after he distributes his going-away presents and after he kills Asher Beal, Leonard is going to kill himself.  Unless anyone can give him a good reason why he shouldn’t.

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