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.
The New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick, brings an unflinchingly eye to the impossible choices we deal with every day--and the light in us all that never goes out.
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.
It's depressing, but good!
It only took me two days to read, but it was very interesting! I appreciate the different aspects of all of the characters, but I can't lie, it made me sad!
Smart and goofy and strange and severely broken
Leonard is a poor soul with a few secrets. It is his birthday. He has a gun. He is going to kill someone. He is going to kill himself. And that is the start of what left me laughing and crying well after midnight on a work night. Quick creates a character that as much as you might want to hate and fear because of what his plans are, you can't help but start to love him. He is smart and goofy and strange and severely broken.
This book is about a sort of sick quest - a quest that will involve Leonard saying goodbye to the people he cares about the most in this world. During this process we get an insight into just how important conversations can truly be, and how little we usually get out of them.
Although it is in the young adult section, it is clearly written for an adult audience to appreciate, although I'm sure my view looking back on those years is very different than the view of someone who is going through those years at the present time.
All in all, Quick takes a difficult subject and a very troubled character, and ends up with a lighthearted, very deep, very meaningful, and somewhat quirky slice of life that is well worth the read.
This book just may be my new favorite. Full of suspense and realism. The reality of what's happening opens your eyes to something many people choose to ignore. The topic of suicide is often overlooked. Quick's rendition of this topic is too good to pass up!