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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Temptation
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...
Published on 1 May 2007 by kehs

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The young people's world
As I work with young people I was prepared to be fair-minded but was very saddened by this book as it reflects the behaviour of many of the young people today - therefore it could be said that it is 'true to life'. However, I did not really think the story flowed, neither did I think it had a strong story line - it focused too much on the sex and drugs in a superficial...
Published on 2 July 2012 by Ethel Starchie


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Temptation, 1 May 2007
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Apples (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's no place like home, 23 Aug 2008
By 
Mrs. R. "Polymath" (London, England, UK.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Apples (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put this down!, 19 Mar 2008
By 
A Cerbic (Tyneside, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Apples (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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant!, 21 Feb 2008
By 
SJSmith (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Apples (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The young people's world, 2 July 2012
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This review is from: Apples (Kindle Edition)
As I work with young people I was prepared to be fair-minded but was very saddened by this book as it reflects the behaviour of many of the young people today - therefore it could be said that it is 'true to life'. However, I did not really think the story flowed, neither did I think it had a strong story line - it focused too much on the sex and drugs in a superficial manner. I feel it is a missed opportunity to use a wealth of 'inside' information.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the fence., 18 Aug 2007
By 
J. MacDonald (Inverness, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Apples (Paperback)
'Apples' is one of those novels that you read in a matter of hours because its style, characters and plot captures your attention & you just have to know what happens to them. My favourite aspect of the novel is how Milwards portrays a group of young girls experience of alcohol, drugs, sex, rape and of being overwhelmed by unexpected motherhood. He writes skilfully and sensitively. This is the main reason I would recommend 'Apples' to a friend.

Nevertheless I have a couple of issues with the novel. I sometimes felt that it was trying too hard to be controversial, and it also seemed to end rather abruptly so you're left wondering whether there was much point in joining these characters lives at all. Definately worth a read though and I look forward to what Milward writes next!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful don't bother, 2 Sep 2012
By 
Mr. D. Sheldon (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Apples (Kindle Edition)
This has to be one of worst books ever, got half way, not sure how, just couldn't face anymore, utter rubbish, what's with the 5 pages of backwards writing. Reminds not to be seduced by kindle offer of the day again ! .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit like a coming-of-age book written by Irvine Welsh with the film version directed by Mike Leigh, 25 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Apples (Kindle Edition)
Dark, grim, and definitely not for the faint-hearted, you sometimes laugh in spite of yourself (and the subject matter) whilst other times you read, open-mouthed. As soon as I started reading it, I couldn't put it down - I finished in a few hours and bought his other book straight afterwards.

Definitely recommend for those you like the "kitchen-sink" drama - a bit like a coming-of-age book written by Irvine Welsh with the film being directed by Mike Leigh
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the youth of today, 10 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Apples (Paperback)
You ever see those teenage girls hanging around on street corners drinking cider from the bottle? Ever wonder what goes on inside their heads? Well, this book will let you know and don't expect it to be a pleasant experience. Told mainly from the perspective of two teenagers. Eve, gets drunk takes copious amounts of drugs and has sex. Reality is inserted in her life by her dying mother but even that doesn't get in the way of hanging out with her friends and having a good time no matter what the consequences and then there's Adam, a sensitive lad who routinely gets smacked around by his father, listens to The Beatles and is in love with Eve despite the fact that he is painfully awkward and shy and, as the story progresses, starts to harbour violent dark thoughts. Occasionally we witness events from the point-of-view of some other minor characters and these brief shifts are some of the most disturbing and nasty parts in the whole book.
The writer excels here, fitting the characters and the setting perfectly with the sparse use of punctuation and realistic grammer that adds immense credence to the tale of these going-nowhere kids.
If you liked Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero you will probably enjoy this, but if you're a parent of a teenager it may give you nightmares. Thank you.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - an author to look out for in the future, 3 May 2007
By 
T. Greenall "greenall141" (Warrington) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Apples (Paperback)
I bought this book after reading a very good review in the Times Magazine and was not at all disappointed. The book is narrated alternitavely by Adam and Eve - and also from brilliant perspectives such as a streetlamp or a baby inside one of the young girls! It is a stunning journey through the world of Middlesborough estates - drugs, teenage pregnancy, booze and rape and all written in a captivating style.
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Apples
Apples by Richard Milward (Paperback - 3 Jan 2008)
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