Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Last October I read Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, after deciding I wanted to read the book first before watching the movie. I tend to do this quite often. This turned out to be an excellent choice as I could not put it down. It quickly became one of the best books I have ever read. This got me searching for other books by Matthew Quick. I noticed that one of his latest novels 'Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock' was coming out in paperback in early 2014. After paying a visit to my local Waterstones I came home and could not wait to start. Was Silver Linings Playbook a one hit wonder or is Matthew Quick a genius writer and story teller?
The main character, you will be surprised to know, is an 18 year old called Leonard Peacock. A troubled teenager whose parents don't care for him and has very few friends. Leonard is planning a murder-suicide on his 18th birthday but has to say 'Goodbye' to 4 people he considers friends first. Yes, I know you are probably thinking this does not sound like a story you would like to read and sounds depressing, but from page 1 you become hooked. On the back of the book there is a quote from Graeme Simsion that says "I was with Leonard on every page" this is so true. Matthew has a great way of creating characters that you actually start to believe you are them. As the book goes on and you find out more and more about Leonard, you start to think that no one can help him and the book becomes so raw and real. The book is so fast paced that you have to keep reading, you go through so many emotions from being upset to laughing out loud. One line in particular gave me the giggle fits for ages that I had to put the book down, "Maybe if we would just picture our enemies jerking off once in a while, the world would be a better place." Yes, I know it is quite immature but I could not stop laughing.
I liked how the book kept the characters to a minimum and, like Leonard, they were so believable which made the story so real. Walt was one of my favourite characters; an elderly man that lived next door to Leonard and one of the few people he could call a friend. Maybe, it was because he reminded me of my Granddads a bit as they were super cool. Herr Silverman (Teacher), Baback (Iranian violin player) & Lauren (Pastor's daughter) made up the other friends that Leonard relies on more than he knows. I liked that you did not find out until 3/4 way through the book, what Asher(baddy) had done to Leonard for him to want to murder him.This kept you guessing all the way through, and when you found out it was a harsh reality that this world can be a horrible place sometimes. On this occasion I guessed wrong as to what happened, but this twist adds to what is already a great story.
This book touched on mental illness and the harsh realities that comes with this. So many people are naïve when it comes to this subject, but after reading this it makes you wonder if there are people out there crying out for help, whether they are a close family member, a friend or a work colleague. It actually made me want to write a letter to an 18 year old me about what the future holds. We all know from being teenagers that growing up is a very scary thought, whether people admit it or not.
I scored this book 5 out of 5 which answers my question from earlier. Matthew Quick is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and once payday comes along I will be purchasing the rest of his books. I fully recommend that you give this book a go and if you have still not seen the movie Silver Linings Playbook then please read that book also. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is one of those books you will never get rid of and keep going back to read. Thank you Matthew....
I would love to know what you think of my review and if you have read the book what your thought are as well?