Summary and book reviews of Eat the Apple by Matt Young

Eat the Apple

by Matt Young

Eat the Apple by Matt Young X
Eat the Apple by Matt Young
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2018, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 26, 2019, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Karen Lewis

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

"The Iliad of the Iraq war" (Tim Weiner) - a gut-wrenching, beautiful memoir of the consequences of war on the psyche of a young man.

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.

1
Choose Your Own Adventure

IN FEBRUARY 2005 AT an armed forces recruitment center situated between a Pier 1 Imports and a Walmart, in the middle of a strip mall of miscellanea, a Marine Corps recruiter goes over your Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and says you scored high and to take your pick of jobs.


To decide that maybe this was all a mistake, turn around, and walk out of the recruiter's office with no hard feelings, and instead continue your menial-labor job and join the union and marry the girl you're dating and have kids and buy a house in the Midwest and get divorced and hate your job and your ex-wife and never speak to your kids and develop a drinking problem no one wants to talk about because you insist you don't have a problem and burn bridges with anyone who insinuates said drinking problem exists and start voting against your best interests and think maybe it really is the immigrants' fault and the liberals' fault and buy a bumper ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Eat the Apple showcases memoir as an art form. Young deploys excellent and varied literary skills here, both to witness contemporary military service, and to heal from his tours of duty.   (Reviewed by Karen Lewis).

Full Review Members Only (688 words).

Media Reviews

Bookpage
Former Marine and current college writing instructor Matt Young relives his grueling Marine training and his three deployments to Iraq in this searing memoir.

Kirkus Reviews
[Young] performs a certain amount of literary alchemy, using style and the space between memory and fiction to transform his raw experiences into self-lacerating works of art... A real war story told in fragments by a gifted young writer trying to come to grips with his experiences

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Young matches his stylistic daring with raw honesty, humor, and pathos ... [he] writes from a grunt's perspective that has changed little since Roman legionnaires yawned through night watch on Hadrian's Wall: endless tedium interrupted by moments of terror and hilarity, all under a strict regime of blind obedience and foolish machismo.

Booklist
Starred Review. [Young's] memoir is creatively told in atmospheric and gut-checking essays... [his] visceral prose, honed in college and writing programs after his tours of duty, confronts shame, guilt, and pain without flinching yet is beyond sympathetic to its subject; it is another act of service.

Library Journal
Starred Review. This honest war memoir will shock and horrify, will cause readers to tear up, and will make them wish they could tell a 19-year-old marine that everything will be okay. Highly recommended.

Author Blurb Elliot Ackerman, author of Green on Blue
Eat the Apple is uncompromising. Page after page slices close to the bone with both stylistic and structural swagger. I've never met Matt Young, but he writes about a certain type of young man, a type that comprised many of my closest friends. In his book they come alive again. I've yet to read a truer portrait of them, of us.

Author Blurb Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood
There's a lot of words to describe Eat the Apple. Smart. Filthy. Bold. Electric. What will linger with readers more than anything else, though, is its honesty. This is modern war bare and raw, uncompromised by faulty heroic tales or foggy romantic deeds.

Author Blurb Tim Weiner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award
Matt Young has written the Iliad of the Iraq war - searing as the desert sun, powerful as a rocket-propelled grenade. He live through three hard tours as a Marine and returned to tell this breathtaking tale. Read it if you love your country. Read it if you hate war. His book will strengthen your heart and soul.

Author Blurb Eric Fair, author of Consequence: A Memoir
In profanely genuine and courageous prose, Matt Young approaches war with the self-lacerating honesty so few of us are willing to risk. Eat The Apple is the only way a true war story can be told.

Author Blurb David Abrams, author of Fobbit and Brave Deeds
Matt Young's Eat the Apple is a standout in a crowded room full of war memoirs. It's fresh, invigorating, and brutally honest in a scorched-earth kind of way.

Author Blurb Scott Anderson, bestselling author ofLawrence of Arabia
A book unlike any I've ever read. By turns hilarious and wrenching - and shot through with moments of piercing wisdom ... If you want to understand how all that works, and be thoroughly entertained at the same time, read this book.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Uncle Sam Needs You: America's All-Volunteer Military

The United States military draft ended under Nixon in 1973 as the Vietnam conflict wound down. Since then, recruitment has been entirely voluntary. Aspiring soldiers usually go through an enlistment process, like Matt Young did in Eat the Apple. Service choices include: Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, or National Guard.

US Army Emblem The US Army is the largest branch of service. In addition to combat jobs, the Army supports active medical, nursing and dental corps, along with along with Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG Corp) and the Army Corps of Engineers. The active-duty service requirement for enlisted soldiers ranges from 2-6 years. Medical corps involves a longer commitment.

The Navy began in 1775 and has evolved along with ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Eat the Apple, try these:

  • Call Me American jacket

    Call Me American

    by Abdi Nor Iftin

    Published 2018

    About this book

    The incredible true story of a boy living in war-torn Somalia who escapes to America--first by way of the movies; years later, through a miraculous green card.

  • Redeployment jacket

    Redeployment

    by Phil Klay

    Published 2015

    About this book

    Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Educated
    Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Voted 2018 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Tara Westover had the kind of ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Voted 2018 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Towards the end of Madeline Miller...
  • Book Jacket: Children of Blood and Bone
    Children of Blood and Bone
    by Tomi Adeyemi
    Voted 2018 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    What would you do if, in a ...
  • Book Jacket: Where the Crawdads Sing
    Where the Crawdads Sing
    by Delia Owens
    Voted 2018 Best Debut Novel Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Where the Crawdads Sing was a ...

See all Award Winners & Top 20

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Travelling Cat Chronicles
    by Hiro Arikawa

    A life-affirming anthem to kindness and self-sacrifice.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7 ½ Deaths of
Evelyn Hardcastle

"Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day...quite unlike anything I've ever read." - A. J. Finn

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.