How would you spend your birthday if you knew it would be your last?
Eighteen-year-old Leonard Peacock knows exactly what he’ll do. He’ll say goodbye.
Not to his mum – who he calls Linda because it annoys her – who’s moved out and left him to fend for himself. Nor to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing the unthinkable. But to his four friends: a Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour, a teenage violin virtuoso, a pastor’s daughter and a teacher.
Most of the time, Leonard believes he’s weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he’s not. He wants to thank them, and say goodbye.
In this riveting and heart-breaking book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick introduces Leonard Peacock, a hero as warm and endearing as he is troubled. And he shows how just a glimmer of hope can make the world of difference
The following professionals read drafts of this novel and provided valuable insights: Alicia Bessette (novelist); Liz Jensen (novelist); Doug Stewart (agent); Alvina Ling (editor); Bethany Strout (editor’s assistant); Barbara Bakowski (senior production editor); Dr. Len Altamura (doctor of social work, licensed clinical social worker); Jill A. Boccia (licensed clinical social worker); Valerie Peña (licensed clinical social worker); Dr. Narsimha R. Pinninti (chief medical officer, Twin Oaks, and professor of psychiatry, UMDNJ-SOM); Meryl E. Udell, PsyD (clinical psychologist); Debra Nolan-Stevenson (licensed professional counselor); and Geetha Kumar, MD (associate professor of psychiatry, vice chair, Department of Psychiatry, UMDNJ-SOM; child/adolescent psychiatrist).
The core idea for this book was greatly nurtured by the many coffee talks I had with Evan Roskos. To my inner circle—and you know who you are—thanks for saving me a million times.
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?