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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

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Overview

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was—that I couldn't stick around—and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 ...

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Overview

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was—that I couldn't stick around—and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol. Maybe one day he'll believe that being different is okay, important even. But not today.

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Editorial Reviews

The Horn Book
" Over the course of one intense day (with flashbacks), Leonard's existential crisis is delineated through an engaging first-person narrative supplemented with footnotes and letters from the future that urge Leonard to believe in a "life beyond the übermorons" at school. Complicated characters and ideas remain complicated, with no facile resolutions, in this memorable story."
The New York Times

"Books like Quick's are necessary...We should be grateful for a book that gets kids, and the leaders they'll become, thinking about the problem now."
From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly Best Book

"Books like Quick's are necessary...We should be grateful for a book that gets kids, and the leaders they'll become, thinking about the problem now."—The New York Times

"Full disclosure: you might need tissues to make it through Leonard Peacock, but even if you don't, you'll likely be touched by Leonard's story."—Entertainment Weekly

"At a time when bullying and gun violence is at the top of the national conversation, this novel servies as a literary segue for teens, parents and teachers into an open dialogue on sensitive topics."—USA Today

"If only Hollywood could get novelist Matthew Quick to write faster. Everything the Massachusetts-based writer pens seems to be scooped up by the studios as soon as the books are bound."—The Los Angeles Times

* "Quick's use of flashbacks, internal dialogue, and interpersonal communication is brilliant, and the suspense about what happened between Leonard and Asher builds tangibly. The masterful writing takes readers inside Leonard's tormented mind, enabling a compassionate response to him and to others dealing with trauma."—School Library Journal (starred review)

* "Quick's attentiveness to these few key relationships and encounters gives the story its strength and razorlike focus...Through Leonard, Quick urges readers to look beyond the pain of the here and now to the possibilities that await."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

" Over the course of one intense day (with flashbacks), Leonard's existential crisis is delineated through an engaging first-person narrative supplemented with footnotes and letters from the future that urge Leonard to believe in a "life beyond the übermorons" at school. Complicated characters and ideas remain complicated, with no facile resolutions, in this memorable story."—The Horn Book

"...the novel presents a host of compelling, well-drawn, realistic characters-all of whom want Leonard to make it through the day safe and sound."—Kirkus

"Quick is most interested in Leonard's psychology, which is simultaneously clear and splintered, and his voice, which is filled with brash humor, self-loathing, and bucket loads of refreshingly messy contradictions, many communicated through Leonard's footnotes to his own story. It may sound bleak, but it is, in fact, quite brave, and Leonard's interspersed fictional notes to himself from 2032 add a unique flavor of hope."—Booklist

"This is one of the most important books of our time."—A.S. King, Printz Honor author of Everybody Sees the Ants and Ask the Passengers

"Leonard's life teeters dangerously between moments of pain and beauty. A fast read, because I needed to keep reading. I will not forget Leonard Peacock. I love this book."

Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why and The Future of Us

Entertainment Weekly
"Full disclosure: you might need tissues to make it through Leonard Peacock, but even if you don't, you'll likely be touched by Leonard's story."
USA Today
"At a time when bullying and gun violence is at the top of the national conversation, this novel servies as a literary segue for teens, parents and teachers into an open dialogue on sensitive topics."
The Los Angeles Times
"If only Hollywood could get novelist Matthew Quick to write faster. Everything the Massachusetts-based writer pens seems to be scooped up by the studios as soon as the books are bound."
A.S. King
"This is one of the most important books of our time."
Jay Asher

"Leonard's life teeters dangerously between moments of pain and beauty. A fast read, because I needed to keep reading. I will not forget Leonard Peacock. I love this book."
Publishers Weekly
Quick’s books typically revolve around characters who don’t fit in, don’t understand their place in the world, and face daunting obstacles. Leonard Peacock is another such individual, a teenager who feels let down by adults and out of step with his sheeplike classmates. Foreseeing only more unhappiness and disappointment in life (and harboring a secret that’s destroying him), Leonard packs up his grandfather’s WWII handgun and heads to school, intending to kill his former best friend and then himself. First, though, he will visit the important people in his life: an elderly cinephile neighbor, a musically gifted classmate, the teacher of his Holocaust studies class, and a homeschooled girl who passes out religious tracts in the train station. Quick’s attentiveness to these few key relationships and encounters gives the story its strength and razorlike focus. Its greatest irony is that, despite Leonard’s commitment to his murder-suicide plan, he appreciates and values life in a way that few do. Through Leonard, Quick urges readers to look beyond the pain of the here and now to the possibilities that await. Ages 15–up. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Aug.)
Booklist
"Quick is most interested in Leonard's psychology, which is simultaneously clear and splintered, and his voice, which is filled with brash humor, self-loathing, and bucket loads of refreshingly messy contradictions, many communicated through Leonard's footnotes to his own story. It may sound bleak, but it is, in fact, quite brave, and Leonard's interspersed fictional notes to himself from 2032 add a unique flavor of hope."
VOYA - Deena Viviani
Leonard Peacock hopes that on the day he turns eighteen, his mother will call and wish him a happy birthday. She does not, and no one else does either, so Leonard moves forward with his plan for the day: to kill his former best friend, Asher Beal, and then himself with his grandfather's P-38 Nazi pistol. Before he does the deed, he brings gifts to the four people in his life who give it meaning, and slowly reveals the secrets that have brought him to this point. Leonard never stops hoping that someone or something will make him change his mind about his murder-suicide path and that he will be able to be happy. The first couple chapters leave the reader wondering if Leonard is a likable or redeemable character. The first two "Letters from the Future" leave the reader slightly confused. But soon after, the pieces of Leonard's life come together and his sympathetic points are clear. Quick's writing is of a high caliber, every word has a purpose, and the ending is both heartbreaking and hopeful. The swearing, discussion of rape, and Leonard's violent plans make this a heavy read for many teen readers, but those who need a healthy way to address these topics or are mature enough to handle them will find this a quality read. Reviewer: Deena Viviani
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
We learn Leonard Peacock's plan for his 18th birthday on page two of this riveting novel: He intends to kill his former best friend and then kill himself. The rest of the book details Leonard's final day. He gives farewell gifts to the four people who have meant most to him, including a chain-smoking, racist, elderly neighbor with whom he watches Humphrey Bogart movies; a girl who hands out Christian tracts in the train station; a gifted violinist classmate of Iranian descent; and the caring teacher of his Holocaust class. Along the way, we discover why Leonard hates his targeted victim and why he thinks his own life is not worth living. The extraordinarily intelligent and candid first-person narration is strongly reminiscent of J. D. Salinger; the events of the story are what might have happened if Holden Caulfield had attended a soul-deadening suburban high school rather than phony Pencey Prep, and if he had the P-38 WWII Nazi handgun of a dead grandfather concealed upon him. Readers will turn the pages to find out whether Leonard goes through with his horrific plan, but Leonard's wry, quirky, heartbreaking reflections on life and death that will make them want to read on. Although Leonard's mother is a disappointingly over-the-top cliche of a bad mom, Matthew Quick (Silver Linings Playbook) has delivered a stunning, wrenching portrait of a fascinating young man on what may be the last day of his life. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Leonard Peacock has big plans for his 18th birthday. He plans to kill Asher Beal and then commit suicide. Leonard is a loner, an outcast, a misfit. Asher is a superpopular jock/bully. But they used to be friends, best friends. Something happened when they were 12, something bad. Leonard has had no one to confide in-his washed-up rock-musician dad is on the lam and his self-absorbed, oblivious mother forgets that she has a son. His anger, emotional pain, and brokenness build until he feels there is nothing left to do but end his life and the cause of his misery. As he gives gifts to the four people who mean something to him, he reveals some of his anguish. One recipient, his teacher Herr Silverman, picks up on his suicidal signals and offers the listening ear Leonard so desperately needs. As the heartbreaking climax unfolds, readers learn about the sexual and emotional trauma the teen has endured. Fortunately, there is no bloodshed, just the shedding of many overdue tears. Leonard knows he needs help and readers will hope he gets it. This is a difficult, yet powerful, book. Quick's use of flashbacks, internal dialogue, and interpersonal communication is brilliant, and the suspense about what happened between Leonard and Asher builds tangibly. The masterful writing takes readers inside Leonard's tormented mind, enabling a compassionate response to him and to others dealing with trauma. May there be more Herr Silvermans willing to take personal risks to save the Leonard Peacocks.—Lisa Crandall, formerly at the Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI
Kirkus Reviews
A teen boy with a World War II pistol in hand is bent on murder and suicide. Leonard Peacock has big plans for his birthday: He's cut his longish hair down to the scalp, wrapped some going-away presents for his friends and tucked his grandfather's souvenir Nazi-issue P-38 pistol into his backpack. He's off to school, but he plans to make some pit stops along the way to see his friends, including his elderly, Bogart-obsessed neighbor. After he gives his gifts away, he'll murder Asher Beal, another boy at school. Then he'll off himself. To say Quick's latest is dark would be an understatement: Leonard is dealing with some serious issues and comes across as a resolutely heartless killer in the first few pages. As the novel progresses and readers learn more, however, his human side and heart rise to the surface and tug at readers' heartstrings. The work has its quirks. Footnotes run amok, often telling more story than the actual narrative, and some are so long that readers might forget what's happening in the story as they read the footnote. Some readers will eat this up, but others will find it endlessly distracting. Other structural oddities include letters written by Leonard to himself from the future; they seem to make no sense at first, but readers find out later that his teacher recommended he write them to cope with his depression. Despite these eccentricities, the novel presents a host of compelling, well-drawn, realistic characters--all of whom want Leonard to make it through the day safe and sound. An artful, hopeful exploration of a teen boy in intense need. (Fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316221351
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 39,770
  • Age range: 15 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Quick

Matthew Quick (aka Q) is the author of The Silver Linings Playbook (Sarah Crichton Books / Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and three young adult novels, Sorta Like a Rock Star, Boy21, and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock (Little, Brown & Co.). His work has received many honors—including a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention—been translated into many languages, and called "beautiful...first-rate" by The New York Times Book Review. The Weinstein Company and David O. Russell have adapted The Silver Linings Playbook into a film starring Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence. Matthew lives in Massachusetts with his wife, novelist Alicia Bessette. His website is www.matthewquickwriter.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock


By Matthew Quick

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2014 Matthew Quick
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-316-22133-7


CHAPTER 1

The P-38 WWII Nazi handgun looks comical lying on the breakfast table next to a bowl of oatmeal. It's like some weird steampunk utensil anachronism. But if you look very closely just above the handle you can see the tiny stamped swastika and the eagle perched on top, which is real as hell.

I take a photo of my place setting with my iPhone, thinking it could be both evidence and modern art.

Then I laugh my ass off looking at it on the miniscreen, because modern art is such bullshit.

I mean, a bowl of oatmeal and a P-38 set next to it like a spoon—that arrangement photographed can be modern art, right?

Bullshit.

But funny too.

I've seen worse on display at real art museums, like an all-white canvas with a single red pinstripe through it.

I once told Herr Silverman about that red-line painting, saying I could easily do it myself, and he said in this superconfident voice, "But you didn't."

I have to admit it was a cool, artsy retort because it was true.

Shut me the hell up.

So here I am making modern art before I die.

Maybe they'll hang my iPhone in the Philadelphia Museum of Art with the oatmeal Nazi gun pic displayed.

They can call it Breakfast of a Teenage Killer or something ridiculous and shocking like that.

The art and news worlds will love it, I bet.

They'll make my modern artwork instantly famous.

Especially after I actually kill Asher Beal and off myself.

Art value always goes up once the artist's associated with fucked-up things such as cutting off his own ear like Van Gogh, or marrying his teenage cousin like Poe, or having his minions murder a celebrity like Manson, or shooting his postsuicide ashes out of a huge cannon like Hunter S. Thompson, or being dressed up as a little girl by his mother like Hemingway, or wearing a dress made of raw meat like Lady Gaga, or having unspeakable things done to him so he kills a classmate and puts a bullet in his own head like I will do later today.

My murder-suicide will make Breakfast of a Teenage Killer a priceless masterpiece because people want artists to be unlike them in every way. If you are boring, nice, and normal—like I used to be—you will definitely fail your high school art class and be a subpar artist for life.

Worthless to the masses.

Forgotten.

Everyone knows that.

Everyone.

So the key is doing something that sets you apart forever in the minds of regular people.

Something that matters.

CHAPTER 2

I wrap up the birthday presents in this pink wrapping paper I find in the hall closet.

I wasn't planning on wrapping the presents, but I feel like maybe I should attempt to make the day feel more official, more festive.

I'm not afraid of people thinking I'm gay, because I really don't care what anyone thinks at this point, and so I don't mind the pink paper, although I would have preferred a different color. Maybe black would have been more appropriate given what's about to transpire.

It makes me feel really little-kid-on-Christmas-morning good to wrap up the gifts.

Feels right somehow.

I make sure the safety is on and then put the loaded P-38 in an old cedar cigar box I kept to remember my dad, because he used to enjoy smoking illegal Cuban cigars. I stuff a bunch of old socks in to keep my "heater" from clanking around inside and maybe blasting a bullet into my ass. Then I wrap the box in pink paper too, so that no one will suspect I have a gun in school.

Even if—for whatever reason—my principal starts randomly searching backpacks today, I can say it's a present for a friend.

The pink wrapping paper will throw them off, camouflage the danger, and only a real asshole would make me open up someone else's perfectly wrapped gift.

No one has ever searched my backpack at school, but I don't want to take any chances.

Maybe the P-38 will be a present for me when I unwrap it and shoot Asher Beal.

That'll probably be the only present I receive today.

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends.

I want to say good-bye to them properly.

I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was—that I couldn't stick around—and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault.

I don't want them to stress over what I'm about to do or feel depressed afterward.

CHAPTER 3

My Holocaust class teacher, Herr Silverman, never rolls up his sleeves like the other male teachers at my high school, who all arrive each morning with their freshly ironed shirts rolled to the elbow. Nor does Herr Silverman ever wear the faculty polo shirt on Fridays. Even in the warmer months he keeps his arms covered, and I've been wondering why for a long time now.

I think about it constantly.

It's maybe the greatest mystery of my life.

Perhaps he has really hairy arms, I've often thought. Or prison tattoos. Or a birthmark. Or he was obscenely burned in a fire. Or maybe someone spilled acid on him during a high school science experiment. Or he was once a heroin addict and his wrists are therefore scarred with a gazillion needle-track marks. Maybe he has a blood-circulation disorder that keeps him perpetually cold.

But I suspect the truth is more serious than that—like maybe he tried to kill himself once and there are razor-blade scars.

Maybe.

It's hard for me to believe that Herr Silverman once attempted suicide, because he's so together now; he's really the most admirable adult I know.

Sometimes I actually hope that he did once feel empty and hopeless and helpless enough to slash his wrists to the bone, because if he felt that horrible and survived to be such a fantastic grown-up, then maybe there's hope for me.

Whenever I have some free time I wonder about what Herr Silverman might be hiding, and I try to unlock his mystery in my mind, creating all sorts of suicide-inducing scenarios, inventing his past.

Some days I have his parents beat him with clothes hangers and starve him.

Other days his classmates throw him to the ground and kick him until he's wet with blood, at which point they take turns pissing on his head.

Sometimes he suffers from unrequited love and cries every single night alone in his closet clutching a pillow to his chest.

Other times he's abducted by a sadistic psychopath who waterboards him nightly—Guantánamo Bay–style—and deprives him of drinking water during the day while he is forced to sit in a Clockwork Orange–type room full of strobe lights, Beethoven symphonies, and horrific images projected on a huge screen.

I don't think anyone else has noticed Herr Silverman's constantly clothed forearms, or if they have, no one has said anything about it in class. I haven't overheard anything in the hallways.

I wonder if I'm really the only one who's noticed, and if so, what does that say about me?

Does that make me weird?

(Or weirder than I already am?)

Or just observant?

So many times I've thought about asking Herr Silverman why he never rolls up his sleeves, but I don't for some reason.

Some days he encourages me to write; other days he says I'm "gifted" and then smiles like he's being truthful, and I'll come close to asking him the question about his never-exposed forearms, but I never do, and that seems odd—utterly ridiculous, considering how badly I want to ask and how much the answer could save me.

As if his response will be sacred or life-altering or something and I'm saving it for later—like an emotional antibiotic, or a depression lifeboat.

Sometimes I really believe that.

But why?

Maybe my brain's just fucked.

Or maybe I'm terrified that I might be wrong about him and I'm just making things up in my head—that there's nothing under those shirtsleeves at all, and he just likes the look of covered forearms.

It's a fashion statement.

He's more like Linda than I am.

End of story.

I worry Herr Silverman will laugh at me when I ask about his covered forearms.

He'll make me feel stupid for wondering—hoping—all this time.

That he'll call me a freak.

That he'll think I'm a pervert for thinking about it so much.

That he'll pull an ugly, disgusted face that'll make me feel like he and I could never ever be similar at all, and I'm therefore delusional.

That would kill me, I think.

Do my spirit in for good.

It really would.

And so I've come to worry that my not asking is simply the product of my boundless cowardice.

As I sit there alone at the breakfast table wondering if Linda will remember today's significance, knowing deep down that she's simply not going to call—I decide to instead wonder if the Nazi officer who carried my P-38 in WWII ever dreamed his sidearm would end up as modern art, across the Atlantic Ocean, in New Jersey, seventy-some years later, loaded and ready to kill the closest modern-day equivalent of a Nazi that we have at my high school.

The German who originally owned the P-38—what was his name?

Was he one of the nice Germans Herr Silverman tells us about? The ones who didn't hate Jews or gays or blacks or anyone really but just had the misfortune of being born in Germany during a really fucked time.

Was he anything like me?

CHAPTER 4

I have this signature really long dirty-blond hair that hangs over my eyes and past my shoulders. I've been growing it for years, ever since the government came after my dad and he fled the country.

And my long locks piss Linda off something awful, especially since she's into contemporary fashion. She says I look like a "grunge-rock stoner" and back when she was still around caring about me, Linda actually made me submit to a drug test—pissing into a cup—which I passed.

I didn't get Linda a good-bye present, and I start to feel guilty about that, so I cut off all my hair with the scissors in the kitchen—the ones we usually use to cut food.

I cut it all down to the scalp in a wild orgy of arms and hands and silver blades.

Then I mash all of my hair into a big ball and wrap it in pink paper.

I'm laughing the whole time.

I cut out a little square of pink paper and write on the back.

• Dear Delilah,

• Here you go.

• You got your wish.

• Congratulations!

• Love, Samson


I fold the square in half and tape it to the gift, which looks quite odd—almost like I tried to wrap a pocket of air.

Then I stick the present in the refrigerator, which seems hilarious.

Linda will be looking for a chilled bottle of Riesling to calm her jangled nerves after getting the news about her son ridding the world of Asher Beal and Leonard Peacock too.

She'll find the pink wrap job.

Linda will wonder about my allusion to Samson and Delilah when she reads the card, because that was the title of my father's failed sophomore record, but will get the joke just as soon as she opens her present.

I imagine her clutching her chest, faking the tears, playing the victim, and being all dramatic.

Jean-Luc will really have his professionally manicured French hands full.

No sex for him maybe, or maybe not.

Maybe their affair will blossom without me around to psychologically anchor poor Linda to reality and maternal duties.

Maybe once I'm gone, she'll float away to France like a shiny new silver little- kid birthday balloon.

She'll probably even lose a dress size without me around to trigger her "stress eating."

Maybe Linda won't return to our house ever again.

Maybe she and Jean-Luc will go to the fashion capital of the world, the City of Light, auw-hauh-hauw!, and screw like bunnies happily ever after.

She'll sell everything, and the new homeowners will find my hair in the refrigerator and be like What the ...?

My hair'll just end up in the trash and that will be that.

Gone.

Forgotten.

RIP, hair.

Or maybe they'll donate my locks to one of those wig-making places that help out kids with cancer. Like my hair would get a second shot at life with a little innocent-hearted bald chemo girl maybe.

I'd like that.

I really would.

My hair deserves it.

So I'm really hoping for that cancer-kid-helping outcome if Linda goes to France without coming home first, or maybe even Linda will donate my hair.

Anything's possible, I guess.

I stare at the mirror over the kitchen sink.

The no-hair guy staring back at me looks so strange now.

He's like a different person with all uneven patches on his scalp.

He looks thinner.

I can see his cheekbones sticking out where his blond curtains used to hang.

How long has this guy been hiding under my hair?

I don't like him.

"I'm going to kill you later today," I say to that guy in the mirror, and he just smiles back at me like he can't wait.

"Promise?" I hear someone say, which freaks me out, because my lips didn't move.

I mean—it wasn't me who said, "Promise?"

It's like there's a voice trapped inside the glass.

So I stop looking in the mirror.

Just for good measure, I smash that mirror with a coffee mug, because I don't want the mirror me to speak ever again.

Shards rain down into the sink and then a million little mes look up like so many tiny minnows.

CHAPTER 5

I'm already late for school, but I need to stop at my next-door-neighbor Walt's so that I can give him his present.

Today, I knock once and let myself into Walt's house because he has to walk slowly with one of those gray-piped four-footed walkers that has dirty tennis balls attached to protect his hardwood floors. It's difficult for him to get around, especially with bad lungs, so he just gave me a key and said, "Come in whenever you feel like it. And come often!"

He's been smoking since he was twelve, and I've been helping him buy his Pall Mall Reds on the Internet to save money. The first time, I found this phenomenal deal: two hundred cigarettes for nineteen dollars, and he proclaimed me a hero right then and there. He doesn't even have a computer in his home, let alone the Internet. So it was like I performed a miracle, getting cigarettes that cheap delivered to his doorstep, because he was paying a hell of a lot more at the local convenience store. I've been bringing over my laptop—our Internet signal reaches his living room—and we've been searching for the best deals every week. He's always trying to give me half of what he saves, but I never take his money.

It's funny because he's rich, but always keen on finding a bargain. Maybe that's why he's rich. I don't know.

A "helper" comes and takes care of him most days, but not until nine thirty AM, so it's always just Walt and me before school.

"Walt?" I say as I walk through the smoky hallway, under the crystal chandelier, toward the smoky living room where he usually sleeps surrounded by overflowing ashtrays and empty bottles. "Walt?"

I find him in his La-Z-Boy, smoking a Pall Mall Red, eyes bloodshot from drinking scotch last night.

His robe isn't shut, so I can see his naked, hairless chest. It's the pinkish- red sunset color of conch-shell innards.

He looks at me with his best black-and-white movie-star face and says, "You despise me, don't you?"

It's a line from Casablanca, which we've watched together a million times.

Standing next to his chair with my backpack between my feet, I answer with Rick's follow-up line in the film, saying, "If I gave you any thought I probably would."

Then I follow it with a line from The Big Sleep, saying, "My, my, my. Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains," which feels pretty cool and authentic considering I have the Nazi P-38 in my backpack.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Quick. Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Raw, Emotional, Intense

    A brilliant, yet lost, alone and angry young man tells his painful story of how he ended up deciding to commit murder and then suicide. His tale is emotionally torturous and he feels like a non-person in the eyes of most of the world, including his self-absorbed mother. Only two people seem to truly care about him, his next door neighbor, an aging old man with two addictions, cigarettes and Bogart/Bacall movies. The other is his Holocaust teacher, Herr Silverman. Having made his decision to die, Leonard chose his eighteenth birthday as his final day on Earth, to make his statement to the world, reveal his pain and hopefully find peace. Can anyone save him? What secrets has he kept hidden for so many years? Does he want to be saved?

    As Leonard says good-bye to the world in his own cryptic way, his mental dialogue is angst-filled and raw. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick is a gritty and bleak look into depression, loneliness and what happens when a child fails to thrive emotionally in a world that doesn’t seem to care about him. Matthew Quick has done an amazing job of bringing Leonard to life, warts and all. I instantly felt for this young man, because his pain was evident, the reasons revealed in small bits, one rejection after another. I felt I was in Leonard’s mind, listening to him, and frankly, agreeing with him, he definitely got the short end of the stick throughout most of his life, even Leonard recognized when it all began to go bad and the joy of being an innocent child was sucked out of him. Mr. Quick’s writing style is very descriptive, dark and foreboding, perfectly aligning with the theme of suicide and depression in a young man crying out internally for help, to be wanted and needed.

    This should be a MUST read for all, especially those who merely shake their heads in disgust that suicide is the coward’s way out, then turn their backs on the topic. This isn’t a piece of fluff, Matthew Quick has written a thoughtful piece, fiction or not, that will carve your heart out with a dull blade.

    An Arc edition was provided by NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange for my honest review.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    I saw this book had a review of only 3 stars and realized people

    I saw this book had a review of only 3 stars and realized people were unfairly ignoring it. This is one of the BEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ IN MY LIFE! It's truly life changing and worth every penny. I stayed up all day and all night just to know what would happen next. Days after finishing it i still find myself thinking of poor Leonard and comparing the book's characters to real people in my life. As the last review said, this is a must read for all. The ending was a bit cryptic, but it allowed me to continue thinking about it and decide for myself what should happen and what would happen with the loose ends. I believe Mr. Quick made it that way to allow you to think and to make your own decisions. Though this book is a great standalone, and i don't know how you could make a good sequel, i do wish i knew a little more about the ending. But like I said, that is how we're supposed to feel. Regardless, if you have not read this book, and have not even considered reading it, think again. It's worth every penny and more.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    Unicorn

    This book is amazing. Just read this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Unknown

    Weird weird book but brillant. Didnt go they way thatni.excpected which is good i enjoyed it read it within 24 hrs. I really didnt exspect leonard to hold a gryge toward asher for that reason. I really love the relationship between leonard and his teacher.leonard was somone who didnt care about peoples opinions but he cared about others feelings, if u know what i mean,and i really liked that about him and he was clever, and thats somthing that brought the story together.honestly i love the ending which is rare so yeah

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I was really interested in reading Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock b

    I was really interested in reading Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by author Matthew Quick the moment I finished reading the description of the novel. It sounded like a novel that would stir up emotion in me, thrill me and keep me on the edge of my seat. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock did all of those things and then some. I absolutely adored and loved this read so much I can’t even put my thoughts or emotions into words.

    Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock takes place on the main character Leonard Peacock’s birthday, it’s a very special day for Leonard because he is going to kill his ex-best friend with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol and then kill himself. However Leonard first plans on going to see the people who matter to him most and give them a goodbye present so that when they learn about the crime he plans to commit after he commits it they won’t have a bad final memory of him.

    Leonard goes to visit the four people who mattered to him most: His neighbor Walt, one of his musically inclined classmates, the girl he has a crush on and his teacher Herr Silverman. As Leonard goes to visit each of these people (and times moves toward the moment when he will pull of his murder-suicide) Leonard begins to give away the plan he is will put into action and the events that led him to make this decision.

    Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock was a novel that I fell in love with right from the start. It was a dark and haunting read that broke my heart, took me on an emotional roller coaster and had me hoping that Leonard would change his fate before it would become too late. The writing style stirred up far too many emotions in me, the footnotes used in the novel as well as Leonard’s dark and depressing thoughts left me both sad and angry. There were so many moments where I was either brought to tears or began crying from Quick’s writing style that made Leonard come alive and become more than just a character.

    The characters introduced in Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock are ones that will connect with readers in some way or form. The main character Leonard is both the good guy and the bad guy and once you discover just what his ex-best friend has done you have to wonder if what Leonard’s doing (despite how totally dark and wrong it is) can be justified. There’s a variety of characters from a dedicated Christian girl to his neighbor and friend Walt who is obsessed with Humphrey Bogart movies and to himself. Despite seeing each character for only a small amount of time I felt that a relationship is established with each character that made the goodbyes very heartfelt.

    When reading Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock I personally think that a lot of readers will find Leonard’s dark thoughts and dark family history to be intriguing. It’s so seldom that I get to read about a character who is messed up and is actually very smart and applies those smarts in the plot. Leonard is a unique character who pulled me into the plot and left me reading and interested until the very last page. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a novel that will keep you hooked. I never wanted to put it down.

    I’d recommend Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock to readers who are looking for an addictive and dark read. Readers who are fans of plots that are thrilling and emotional will eat this read right up. Anybody who is looking for a tear jerker needs to check out Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock as soon as possible.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2013

    This is without a doubt one of the greatest books i have ever re

    This is without a doubt one of the greatest books i have ever read. This is the type of book that stays with you when you finish it, the type that leaves you with something to think about when you finish it. this is a must read for everyone

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    Interesting Book

    This was a really interesting book. I liked it and all the characters and the messages or morals and how the bok made me think. But the end was certainly not what I was expecting. It was like I am reading along and then I turn the page and it simply says "For more information go to fecebook" or something like that. I was really looking forward to what was going to happen to Leonard afterwards. I wanted to see him jerk his mom back into reality and to see how the rest of his life turned out. I found out about this bok before it was published an was every excited. However if Quick had made the book longer, I would have gladly wait several more months for it to b published. On the other hand, the abrupt ending to the book could have been saying something I just didn't get.

    Overall it was a good book. If I could I would rate it a 3.9 because this book doesn't seem like it should have been JUST a 3.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2014

    Beautifully written.

    One of the most heartwrenhing books, this one kept me at the edge of my seat and i was able toread it in one sitting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2014

    Amanda

    You mean where is CONNOR

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Carrie

    Y did u follow us?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2014

    Connor

    Waits

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    this book saved my life.

    this book saved my life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I don know if i hould get yhis book i realy want to know the ending does lenard kill himself. Respond togirl100%
    :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    Demented

    Leonard is downright crazy. This book freaked me out once i finished it. It isnt one of those wonderful books that everyone ends up reading, like The Fault in Our Stars, and its honestly best that way

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    LOVE

    This book is great! I loved it. It is simulatinsouly sad, depressing, moving, insprational, and hopeful. I really just enjoyed reading this book. It is a great read with a hopeful ending. I recommend it, you wont be dissapointed!

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    Rating: Top Shelf, a beautifully tragic happenstance. You're im

    Rating: Top Shelf, a beautifully tragic happenstance.

    You're immediately taken back to the toughest times in your life, the awkward stages. Maybe you were bullied, maybe you were ostracized because of they way you acted or dressed. Maybe you had your own personal demons and still had to deal with life. I instantly fell in love with this book. The moments of breath above water, the letters from Leonard's loved ones, are inspiring and uplifting, even when you feel Leonard drowning.

    If my classmates put as much effort into making our community better as they give to the college application process, this place would be a utopia.
    Appearances, appearances.
    The great facade.
    How to Live Blindly in a Blind World 101.
    Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Quick, Matthew. Published August 13th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle edition. Loc 630

    So many terrible things happen to Leonard that leave him with only one option to stop the pain. Leonard's parent's 'hands-off' approach to loving their only child cause Leonard to bottle up most of his feelings. A best friend, who is sexually abused, becomes Leonard's living nightmare. Feeling and understanding beyond the socially acceptable top layer has fellow classmates pegging him as a freak.

    I heard other kids in my class whisper all sorts of things about me afterward, saying that I had justified killing children and suicide, but my classmates just didn't get it, because they are spoiled teenagers living here in America at the beginning of the twenty-first century. They've never had to make any real decisions at all. Their lives are easy and unremarkable. They're not awake.
    Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Quick, Matthew. Published August 13th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle edition. Loc 439

    But it's not all gloom. He has a few 'friends' that want to help, or at least understand, but they don't know the best way to approach the situation they all fear is about to take place. Baback helps Leonard escape everyday school life by listening to the beauty of Baback's violin. Lauren, inadvertently, helps him believe in the idea of Love, even if religion gets in the way. These two are just kids themselves and only accept Leonard up to a certain point, then insist that there is something wrong and he needs help.
    Walt, his elderly widowed neighbor, lends an ear even but the two can only communicate emotionally through Bogart statements.
    And Herr Silverman taps into Leonard and tries desperately to keep him around, just a little longer.

    Show me it's possible to be an adult and also be happy.
    Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Quick, Matthew. Published August 13th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle edition. Loc 476

    For me, the most moving parts of this book are the letters from Leonard's future. At first I didn't understand where the book was going but they were so fun to read. After Herr Silverman let's the reader in on the concept, the fun letters become more beautiful and then heart breaking.

    Mom says you never thought you'd find her when you were my age, but you did.
    You probably never thought you'd find me either, and now I need to find the people in my future too - because that's just the way of the world maybe.... I've watched you sleep for over an hour, just because.
    And the whole time I wished your mind was a sea we could scuba dive in together because I'd like to see the LOVE statue that sits at the bottom of your consciousness.
    Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Quick, Matthew. Published August 13th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle edition. Loc 2816

    I felt emotionally altered after reading this book. I highly suggest it to everyone, because no one had a perfect life growing up.

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  • Posted January 14, 2014

    One of the best books I've ever read! beautiful, powerful, and a

    One of the best books I've ever read! beautiful, powerful, and amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    A brilliant masterpiece. 

    A brilliant masterpiece. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2013

    I heard about this book in my senior lit class and was drawn int

    I heard about this book in my senior lit class and was drawn into it immediately. I thought the book was amazing and could connect really well with today's world. For example, Leonard's mom works all the time and hardly even notices him. In today's world I feel like we are so job driven and it’s all about how much money we make when, like Leonard says, we need to enjoy our lives and realize that it’s not all about money and working. One of the good things about this book is that Mathew Quick wrote it in a way that kept me drawn in throughout the whole book and I had a hard time putting it down. I would recommend this book to everyone, it really opened up my eyes to what my future is going to look like, what’s going on in the word around me, and what my relationships need to look. Many people may turn it down because they think that it’s about a school shooting, but in reality the bigger part of the book is about his relationships with the people in his life and why he is feeling the ways he is. I thought this book was fantastic and everyone should read it; so much about life can be learned from it.

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  • Posted December 17, 2013

    For a high school boy without a mother around and very few frien

    For a high school boy without a mother around and very few friends, life can seem quite dreadful. Leonard Peacock deals with this on a day to day basis, but takes it to the extreme with starting the book stating he’s going to kill himself along with a classmate by the end of the day. Following Leonard’s last day brings up his past, such as his time spent with a devout Christian girl, to his future, seen through letters his family sends him from their lighthouse. Relationships, adult life, and humanity itself are questioned throughout the book, drawing the reader in more and more to find out what exactly is going to happen to dear Leonard. Not once was I bored, for the sarcastic main character is easy to get along with and easy to feel as if you’re traveling with him through his (possible) last day on Earth. 

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews

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