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Eat the Apple
by Matt Young


Overview -

"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.  Read more...


 
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    Eat the Apple (Paperback)
    Published: 2019-02-01
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
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More About Eat the Apple by Matt Young
 
 
 
Overview

"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.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781632869500
  • ISBN-10: 1632869500
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
  • Publish Date: February 2018
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Military

 
BookPage Reviews

Stories from the front line

Former Marine and current college writing instructor Matt Young relives his grueling Marine training and his three deployments to Iraq in this searing memoir. His months in the desert are a fever dream of fiendish insects, extreme temperatures, tedium and terror.

Young enlists in the Marines without much forethought, walking into a strip mall recruitment center after drunkenly crashing his car, drawn to the belief that “the only way to change is the self-flagellation achieved by signing up for war.” He leaves behind his “broken and distant” family and a young fiancée who is just heading off to college. He, at 18, is also just a kid.

For the most part, Young sidesteps any direct judgment of the war, but his writing makes clear the toll the war took on him personally. Young describes a tumbling Humvee that hits an improvised explosive device; a liquor-soaked 96-hour leave during which he struggles to talk to his family about anything other than combat; shooting dogs while on patrol, then being haunted by that act. “It’s important to remember our boredom and lack of sleep and anger and sadness and youth and misunderstanding and loneliness and hate,” Young writes.

And that is the uncompromising essence of Eat the Apple: Young is unflinching, even slightly removed as he examines the most brutally personal moments of his years in service. Sometimes he writes in the first person, sometimes in the second. He incorporates sketches of his body along with self-diagnoses of his physical and psychic pain, which are insightful rather than self-indulgent. And he pays tribute to those he served with, including those who came home broken or didn’t come home at all: “We didn’t die, but there are those who did, and regardless of who they were as men they should be remembered.”

 

This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews