Eat the Apple

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

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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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?
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Full review to come. Talented debut author. Recommended read for anyone considering enlisting in the Marines (or their family members).
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"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...

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"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...

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