Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is straightforward and weighty, yet often funny quite unexpectedly. Does Leonard justify the actions he’s to make? Does he reason it away with an ‘ I’m this was because you’re that way’ thing? I suppose he does, but it isn’t that simple. Nothing in this is simple (despite me describing it as straightforward.)
What it is is something that makes you think, but more, it’s something that makes you feel. It’s him on the day of, telling what he’s to do and WHY he’s to do it. It’s him (re)connecting with the people who’ve been part of his making. Some of them are good, a whole lot of them not so good. It’s these connections that make it clear that the kid isn’t just a bad kid or just a good kid; scrap all that and it’s clear: he is just a kid, feeling all these things, not knowing what to do, and finally choosing the only thing he can think of.
There’s an odd feel here, particularly in the people he’s surrounded himself with. In Sort of Like Rockstar, it’s the girl holding everyone else up. Her endless positive perspective can be contrasted to the lead in this one as he’s definitely not optimistic. Here, it’s the lead barely touching on anyone else life but it’s those lives that feel pivotal to the decision his already made.
All these connections seem unimportant, superficial even, yet at times they can be and sometimes are vital to someone else- his own. The more remarkable one is his music connection; so utterly connectionless in the social aspect, it’s a surprise how he manages to forge a link to another one who could be him. But the two split up at some point, where the other kid moves on… Leonard is stuck. And that’s the problem: he’s stuck with his past, with memories of things done by him, and worse done to him. The source of all this (the ultimate source of all this,) has me asking more questions still. And that’s what this book has me do: feel, think, ASK
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