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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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This title in other editions

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

by

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock Cover

ISBN13: 9780316221337
ISBN10: 0316221333
All Product Details

 

Awards

Staff Pick

Hands down the best book I have ever read! Gripping. Dramatic. The author really humanized the boy about to turn school shooter, creating a character you would be hard-pressed not to identify with. I could not put this down, and it is one of the few books I can't wait to reread. Oh, and it has footnotes.
Recommended by Brandon W., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart — obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made — and the light in us all that never goes out.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"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

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

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

Review:

"[T]he 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

Review:

"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

About the Author

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Reader Eternal, March 2, 2014 (view all comments by Reader Eternal)
What a beautiful revelation of a book. I didn't know what to expect from a novel about a teenage boy who packs a gun to school. What I got was something very special. Leonard Peacock is such a singularly sympathetic character that I would defy anyone to remain unmoved by his story. I didn't expect to find humor in such a story, but Leonard is a character like no other. His wry and intelligent observations about the world around him had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. I was by turns smiling and moved to tears. What an incredibly moving and important book. This is a book that I hope everyone will read and talk about. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Debbi, January 11, 2014 (view all comments by Debbi)
Brilliant! Working with high school students made me want to read this. Reading this made me want to climb up on the rooftop and shout "READ THIS BOOK!". And now I want to meet Matthew Quick and engage in that discussion which starts with "Please talk to us about how you do what you do". For every teacher, parent or teen, popular or misunderstood, this ought to be mandatory reading. As for bookclubs, duscussion possibilities abound. Needless to say, I am a fan.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, September 12, 2013 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
Leonard has decided that he’s going to kill himself and the guy who torments him. But first, he decides to say goodbye in his own way to the people who made a difference in his life: the old guy next door who taught him to love Bogart films, the high school teacher who teaches a class on the Holocaust, a girl who hands out religious tracts on the subway, and a fellow student who is a secret violin prodigy.

Leonard is convinced he has nothing to live for, and that Asher Beal deserves to die. As the story unfolds, we find that Leonard’s father abandoned him long ago and his mother is mostly absent. He and Asher used to be friends until Asher turned on him.

Like other books by Matthew Quick (Boy 21, Sorta Like a Rock Star) Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is not comfortable to read, but it is important to read. Leonard’s emotions are raw, and he is isolated. Repeatedly he reaches out to his mother and is rejected. He’s awkward interacting with friends. Fortunately for Leonard his teacher recognizes his suffering, possibly because he went through something similar in his youth, and extends a lifeline to him. The characters are real and gritty and somehow familiar.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a great book for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 up to read and discuss. Topics to talk about include social strains on teens, how teens can find help if they need it, the kind of thinking that will push someone to do something extreme, and more. I highly recommend it.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316221337
Author:
Quick, Matthew
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Subject:
Children s-General
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Publication Date:
20130831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English

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Related Subjects

Children's » Featured Titles
Children's » General
Young Adult » Featured Titles
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Adolescence
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Suicide
Young Adult » General

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details pages Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - English 9780316221337 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Hands down the best book I have ever read! Gripping. Dramatic. The author really humanized the boy about to turn school shooter, creating a character you would be hard-pressed not to identify with. I could not put this down, and it is one of the few books I can't wait to reread. Oh, and it has footnotes.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "[T]he novel presents a host of compelling, well-drawn, realistic characters — all of whom want Leonard to make it through the day safe and sound."
"Review" by , "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."
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