Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Matthew Quick, Author
Matthew Quick. Little, Brown, $18 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-22133-7
Reviewed on: 06/24/2013
Release date: 08/13/2013
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-76309-7
Hardcover - 273 pages - 978-1-4722-0915-3
Hardcover - 273 pages - 978-1-4722-0820-0
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-316-22135-1
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-316-22132-0
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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.)
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