Apples (3 stars)

Richard Milward

Apples (Faber)


The confused and lusty youthdom of Britain are everywhere at the moment from the seemingly daily scare stories on the tabloid front pages and broadsheet opinion columns to the hedonistic revelry of Skins. On literature’s side, January’s Graffiti My Soul by thirtysomething Niven Govinden is now followed by Richard Milward’s debut on the growing pains of the disaffected in Middlesborough. While this comes straight from the heart, borne of recent experience with the author clocking in at a mere 21 years, that doesn’t necessarily translate into compelling fiction, and there are many clumsy elements to the tale which almost threaten to dent his naturally vibrant writing style.

Whether he can really get away with having a book called Apples while his key characters are named Adam and Eve is up for debate, but these two poor souls are assured a struggle of biblical proportions as they hurtle towards either nirvana or purgatory. A tempting but sour debut.

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