Eat the Apple
Eat the Apple is a daring, twisted, and darkly hilarious story of American youth and masculinity in an age of continuous war. Matt Young joined the Marine Corps at age eighteen after a drunken night culminating in wrapping his car around a fire hydrant. The teenage wasteland he fled followed him to the training bases charged with making him a Marine. Matt survived the training and then not one, not two, but three deployments to Iraq, where the testosterone, danger, and stakes for him and his fellow grunts were dialed up a dozen decibels. With its kaleidoscopic array of literary forms, from interior dialogues to infographics to prose passages that read like poetry, Young’s narrative powerfully mirrors the multifaceted nature of his experience. Visceral, ironic, self-lacerating, and ultimately redemptive, Young’s story drops us unarmed into Marine Corps culture and lays bare the absurdism of 21st-century war, the manned-up vulnerability of those on the front lines, and the true, if often misguided, motivations that drove a young man to a life at war. Searing in its honesty, tender in its vulnerability, and brilliantly written, Eat the Apple is a modern war classic in the making and a powerful coming-of-age story that maps the insane geography of our times.

Eat the Apple Details

TitleEat the Apple
Author
ReleaseFeb 27th, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury USA
ISBN-139781632869500
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, War, Biography

Eat the Apple Review

  • Roxane
    January 1, 1970
    There is a lot to admire here stylistically. There is a range of narrative styles, lists, images. The first person plural point of view works well. The prose is sharp and fast and often unfocused but I suppose that is also the experience of war. This is an interesting military memoir, very original. But I was distracted by the narrative distance. I wanted to feel closer to the narrator even though that is probably besides the point. Well worth checking out.
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  • Kusaimamekirai
    January 1, 1970
    “Eat the Apple” is quite unlike anything I’ve read before. It is the story of the author’s three deployments in Iraq during the Gulf War, but told through a variety of narrative device. Some of the story is told like a conventional memoir. There are other parts however told in the third person where it feels like the author has separated from himself and lost all of his own agency as he narrates what happens around him. These sections are often some of the more absorbing and disturbing parts of “Eat the Apple” is quite unlike anything I’ve read before. It is the story of the author’s three deployments in Iraq during the Gulf War, but told through a variety of narrative device. Some of the story is told like a conventional memoir. There are other parts however told in the third person where it feels like the author has separated from himself and lost all of his own agency as he narrates what happens around him. These sections are often some of the more absorbing and disturbing parts of the book. In addition to first and third person narratives, the author plays with form using questionnaires, drawings, or even writing some chapters in the form of a movie script. While this style does take a little while to adjust to, once the adjustment is made it is devastatingly effective. I can’t say that I “enjoyed” this book simply because it deals with such difficult subject matter. I wouldn’t call this an anti-war book necessarily as the author readily acknowledges the value of the friendships made in wartime. However, the things he does and sees in Iraq are not things human beings are meant to see or do. For this reason I give him a pass for a lot of the vulgarity that peppers the narrative that while funny at times, is still difficult to digest (the less you know about the ‘portable partner’ the better). In the end, this is the story of a messed up person going to a messed up war with a lot of other messed up people who see a lot of messed up things and end up returning home even more messed up than before.
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  • Patchogue-Medford Library
    January 1, 1970
    When I read a book that is described as “...a daring, twisted, and darkly hilarious story of American youth and masculinity in an age of continuous war...” I was picturing something along the lines of Richard Hooker’s M*A*S*H series or Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. This book was closer to what happens when All Quiet on the Western Front meets Full Metal Jacket in Fallujah. Any humor was of the gallows kind. Certainly not a happy book to curl up with just before the holidays.But don’t get me wrong – When I read a book that is described as “...a daring, twisted, and darkly hilarious story of American youth and masculinity in an age of continuous war...” I was picturing something along the lines of Richard Hooker’s M*A*S*H series or Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. This book was closer to what happens when All Quiet on the Western Front meets Full Metal Jacket in Fallujah. Any humor was of the gallows kind. Certainly not a happy book to curl up with just before the holidays.But don’t get me wrong – this book is still an excellent read. Raw in the extreme, honest to the bone, this memoir chronicles a swaggering testosterone-pumped youth from his decision to join the Marines in 2005 to the end of this third (!) tour in Iraq, an odyssey stretches 2009. No punches are pulled in describing the experiences – both internal and external – of being a deployed Marine during the depths of the Iraq war.Like memories, each chapter is brief (five pages or fewer), and deals with a unique aspect (such as self-doubt, or dehumanization) or event (such as Basic Training or an IED attack). Reading the book felt like paging through someone’s memories, watching the images flash by like a brutal slide show. My only criticisms were that a great deal of Marine jargon was used with little in the way of context to derive a definition. Civvies like me will need to Google plenty of terms. If you’re former Corps, you’ll probably have no problems.I recommend this book, especially if you plan on writing about combat soldiers. However, be sure that your mind is in a comfortable place before you start reading. This book does an excellent job of not comforting preconceived notions.It truly brings meaning to the statement, “...you don’t know, you weren’t there...”-Reviewed by Amy
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  • kelly
    January 1, 1970
    "It's important to understand bullets don't stop just because they hit something."Matt Young enlists in the Marines in the early 00's and eventually lives through three deployments to Iraq. It's a very dark war story with all of the typical 'no atheists in foxholes' kind of nihilism, but this is definitely not your typical memoir. There are medical diagnosis charts, screenplay scripts, second person narration, drawings, letters, and other formats that made this book darkly funny, and at times, e "It's important to understand bullets don't stop just because they hit something."Matt Young enlists in the Marines in the early 00's and eventually lives through three deployments to Iraq. It's a very dark war story with all of the typical 'no atheists in foxholes' kind of nihilism, but this is definitely not your typical memoir. There are medical diagnosis charts, screenplay scripts, second person narration, drawings, letters, and other formats that made this book darkly funny, and at times, extremely serious.I don't know, though. Even though I liked this memoir, the variety of formats presented weren't enough to keep me from skimming through multiple sections that held little interest to me. Perhaps because I am not well-schooled in the ways of combat, deployment, the Marines, or any branch of the Armed Services, for that matter.I give this book 3.5 stars for originality. Note: A free digital copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    You’ve chosen the United States Marine Corps infantry based on one thing: You got drunk last night and crashed your car into a fire hydrant sometime in the early morning…Matt Young, searching for some excitement, joins the infantry and lives to tell the tale. Well, kind of.Your experience will not be what you think. You wear glasses. Heroes don’t wear glasses… You will become the villain.This isn't going to be an action-filled, angsty, or darkly realistic memoir. It's going to be all three, and You’ve chosen the United States Marine Corps infantry based on one thing: You got drunk last night and crashed your car into a fire hydrant sometime in the early morning…Matt Young, searching for some excitement, joins the infantry and lives to tell the tale. Well, kind of.Your experience will not be what you think. You wear glasses. Heroes don’t wear glasses… You will become the villain.This isn't going to be an action-filled, angsty, or darkly realistic memoir. It's going to be all three, and more.Young plays with form, using diagnosis charts, second-person stories, screenplay-like scripts, first-person narratives, diagrams, and how-to manuals. It's a risk, but, in my opinion, it really paid off.However, I do have to admit that I skimmed. It was easy to skip over certain things. Maybe it's because I'm reading online, which I'm the worst at. Maybe it's because I'm not the target audience. Maybe it's just me.Even so, I love the mix of seriousness and humor here. Like, come on, look at this:“The girl thinks that the boy’s impulsivity is romantic. It makes her feel wanted” (58).“Jerking off has saved countless lives throughout countless wars” (72).Come on. That's just the best.**Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA for allowing me to read an ARC of this memoir for free in exchange for an honest review.**
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    A funny, sad, honest memoir of a Marine's life before, during and after deployments in Iraq. Told alternately through detached, speaking-of-myself-in-the-third-person prose, comics and drawings, bullet-point lists, and even a short play, Eat the Apple is a really unique take on the soldier memoir. But despite the humor Young sprinkles throughout the book, the underlying current of fear, anger and despair shines through, gnawing away at our narrator as he, and we the readers, contemplate the ques A funny, sad, honest memoir of a Marine's life before, during and after deployments in Iraq. Told alternately through detached, speaking-of-myself-in-the-third-person prose, comics and drawings, bullet-point lists, and even a short play, Eat the Apple is a really unique take on the soldier memoir. But despite the humor Young sprinkles throughout the book, the underlying current of fear, anger and despair shines through, gnawing away at our narrator as he, and we the readers, contemplate the questions: What's the point of war, anyway? Is it worth the cost? And what happens when a young man, trained to kill, comes home?*Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, provided by the author and/or the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    Eat the Apple by Matt Young is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late January.An extremely slice-of-life, confrontational, in-the-moment memoir of Matt Young, a U.S. Marine recruit, who uses mixed media (dialogue in script form, anatomical charts, beat poetry, emblematic logos and diagrams, handdrawn maps) to talk about maintaining interpersonal relationships and his own mortality, despite his injuries, mental calculatedness, and enumerated ruminations.
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  • Marcia
    January 1, 1970
    Well written and blunt memoir of the author's time in the Marines and three tours of duty in Iraq. After reading it. I have even more empathy for our men and women in uniform. I can understand why it's hard to fit into a normal world after military service. I'm glad to know he turned his life around later. (I'm reviewing an Advance Reading Copy I won.)
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  • Karen Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    Debut author Matt Young's memoir of his life when he enlisted in the US Marines and was deployed overseas. Recommended read for anyone thinking about enlisting, or for families of those so inclined. Definitely takes this reader to "places I'd rather not visit" in reality. But interesting to read this young man's account.
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  • Barbara White
    January 1, 1970
    Enlightening, raw, and bold are just a few words to describe Matt Young's Eat the Apple. This book made me think and it made me cry. It is a courageous story. Thanks to Goodreads First Reads for a copy of Eat the Apple. I highly recommend it.
  • Allison Hollett
    January 1, 1970
    Powerfully told and exquisitely rendered, Matt Young tells his story in one of most original voices out there today. Pay attention to this guy and read EAT THE APPLE. I finished it and went back and began again. It's that good.
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    January 1, 1970
    Honest real raw a memoir a young man you will not forget.
  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    seattle times
  • Guadalupe Gouveia
    January 1, 1970
    Never received it. So how can I read it?
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