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Apples Paperback – 19 Apr 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (19 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571232825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571232826
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.7 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 615,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A confident, no-holds-barred, and bizarrely optimistic story - a fairy tale with plenty of heart.' -- Sunday Business Post

'A wonderful take on amoral youth ... Apples is unlike any other novel I've read. Who knows? We may have discovered our J. D. Salinger early. ' -- Financial Times

'Apples is an astonishing debut ... Catcher in the Rye meets the Arctic Monkeys.' -- The Times Magazine

'Crass, graphic, funny and unnerving ... a frighteningly recognisable glimpse into a particular experience of adolescence.' -- Guardian

'Dazzling ... I loved Apples ... If I were an adolesent, I'd read and re-read [it] until it fell apart.'
-- www.thebookbag.co.uk

'Heartbreaking, honest and accurate ... a tough, explicit yet tender coming-of-age story.' -- thelondonpaper

'It's one of the best books I've ever read about being young, working-class and British.'
-- Irvine Welsh

'The moment I started reading I was hooked ... Milward writes with ferocious, infectious energy [and] sharp, black wit.' -- Mail on Sunday

Book Description

Apples by Richard Milward is a shocking, tender and funny debut novel from a twenty-one year old, telling the story of housing estate teens Adam and Eve.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 May 2007
Format: Paperback
What a brilliant idea - call a book Apples and name the two main characters Adam and Eve. What this promises is sure to be a theme on temptations and that's exactly what we get. Apples is essentially a hard hitting take on Adam and Eve from the book of Genesis - the story of children growing up and going out into the big wide world with all of its wicked ways to lure them into temptation. And do the kids in this book stray or what! Adam has OCD and spends his spare time reading porn magazines and pleasuring himself in his attic. Eve is a drug taking, alcopop-guzzling teenager, who thinks nothing of having one night stands. This is probably all in an attempt to block out the fact that she's just discovered that her mother has cancer. The book is peopled with characters that are delinquents of varying types, amongst them being drug dealers, addicts and rapists, who are all growing up together on a sink estate trying to get through each day the best way that they know how.

Narrated in turns by Adam and Eve this book pulls no punches. The gritty realism shines through this shocking tale, which is filled with graphic imagery and the vilest of language. Reading this will make you gasp with horror at their grim lifestyles, but the author writes in such a captivating manner that he pulls you right into the story and the reader will get swept away with his writing style. This is an amazing first novel by Richard Milward, a talented young author
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Cerbic on 19 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
I have just borrowed this book from my 60 year old mother and we both thought it fantastic. I am well over thirty and a generation away from the author but still identified with the characters and some of the problems and anxieties they face growing up. Some of the scenes heart-stoppingly shocking but anyone growing up in a culture devoid of ambition, expectation or hope will relate to them. I live fairly near where the novel is based and can fully believe that the activities described in the book are an accurate reflection of the type of teenagers the author claims to represent. I think that for a teenage boy, his ability to write with such insight and empathy about the minds of the teenage girls, is truly remarkable. Although the characters appear at first hedonistic and shallow, once you are inside their heads, it is apparent that there is much more to most of them than shellsuits and cheap drugs and you can warm to them and sympathise. The poverty of ambition depicted in the novel is depressing and there is no happy ending but I hope there is a bright future for this young novelist after this stunning debut.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. R. on 23 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
I read it because it was set in Middlesbrough, amidst the vast range of council estates where my gran, Auntie Hilda and Auntie May lived when I was a kid. My parents were both brought up in Middlesbrough, which was voted the UK's worst place to live not long ago. Nevertheless I do feel some affection for the place. Not long ago, my Auntie Hilda's whole street was demolished because it had turned into a no-go area, so I realised that things had changed a bit - just not this much. At the beginning I was so shocked I almost gave up, but it takes a lot to put me off a book. By the end, their mundane but astonishing lives began to seem normal, and I did want to find out what happened to the sub-anti-hero characters.

There's another book about Middlesbrough, written in 1948, about a lad called Joe Smith on leave from the Navy during the war, The Wind That Blows by F.W. Lister. At the time, I think Joe's behaviour might have been as surprising to your average middle aged professional as Apples' Eve and Adam were to me. Maybe all books set in Middlesbrough are destined to be a bit of a shock. There's birth, death, drugs, sex, rape, cancer and underage everything, written in a matter-of-fact was as if the whole thing is perfectly normal. But then, that's the whole point.

To read about the street where I stayed with my gran, the school my mother taught in and the estates I walked through to get packets of sweets and pints of milk, described in a way that gives them the familiarity of a parallel universe, is an unusual treat.
Do read it, if you want to know what life's like in the UK for those of us outside the comfy working-middle class. Most first novels are written about what we know and most of us know nothing about this life.

Maybe it ends before the end. Don't wait for a huge Hollywood style conclusion. It just continues the way their lives are going to continue; taking what comes of the mess they've grown up in.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By SJSmith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book from start to finish. It's shocking, dramatic and lots of other things as well but one thing is certain it is realistic. I've worked in the area the book is set and knew the school mentioned quite well, and it is accurate narrative from my experiences. In fact, if you were to go to any area of high deprivation and poverty in the UK and you'd be greeted with similar scenarios.

Okay, enough about the setting. Move on to the characters. Adam and Eve are truly brilliant and how good to link it to the bibical references from the Garden of Eden. However in this case Eden is not all its cracked up to be. At no point did I feel that Richard Milward was trying to be smug with the characters - I really felt he was trying to portray what he would have known about children like that from his own area. It's a sad representation of life for some school children.

The cover work is fabulous, well done those designers. Equally as big a well done to Richard Milward for writing this book at 19 years old. I can't praise this book enough for it's style, honesty, brutality and scope.
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