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3.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  782 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
Great play for theatre lovers, critics, fans of new drama, drama teachers and students.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Oberon Books (first published October 11th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,250)
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Mar 14, 2012 kb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-favorites
Half the time I wished the whole thing was written from the perspective of Adam, the vulnerable, clueless and awkward guy who secretly chased after the junkie but sensitive blondie Eve. His coming-of-age was a story I would have really loved to read about because his voice sounded so genuine to me. But since Richard Milward is the author here (who wrote this book when he was only 19!!! and who obvs liked to use alternating narrators), I give R-E-S-P-E-C-T. For him to take such a simple plot of a ...more
John Weller
Nov 02, 2008 John Weller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apples is great. Not sure what the title refers to, probably a metaphor for something or other.

The characters in this book are wicked. Council estate kids having fun, getting fucked up and fucked over. It's done in a non-glamorous way and nobody is judged for their behaviour.

If you like books about going out, taking drugs, getting pissed and shagging then this is the book for you.

A new low in getting high.
Mar 29, 2010 Roo7 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bildungsroman
Yet another coming of age book about the teenage sect in London...and this one I read a long time ago but can't seem to get out of my head.

Usually when authors write about kids they given them these adult words and adult maturity, though they try to play it down. It's like we can't help but write ourselves into a kid's mind. Milward doesn't do this at all. His treatment of the characters' is pure, raw, illogical and perfect.

This is essentially a story of Adam (the nerdy kid in school who occas
Mar 07, 2011 Marie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was quite an odd book that I whizzed through in a day off work. It wasn't terrible but the whole way through something about the narrative felt sort of stilted, as if the author hadn't decided exactly what mood he wanted to create. It pitched somewhere between funny & tragic but I felt it fell a little short of both. I didn't understand the Adam/Eve/Apples metaphor at all & couldn't see that it had any link to the plot. Some sections were quite good and showed clear insight into how ...more
Mar 22, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What makes a good book? Is it a page-turner, a book you simply cannot put down? Or is it a book that leaves an impression and leaves you wanting more – caring for those characters you have just spent time reading about?

I would have thought both but having just read Richard Milward's debut "Apples" I would say I related to the former but not the latter.

I couldn't put this book down, the style of writing was excellent and the subject matter, the teenage years, is something that everyone can relate
Helen Lawrence
Apples is often funny, though relies so heavily on stereotypes you might as well be watching Hollyoaks. 'Chavs' on a council estate must have: tracksuits, bleached hair, fake nails, high heels, a tendency to steal things, loads of sex, a pocketful of drugs, a bag full of spray paints and a stomach full of Bellabrusco.

I often felt that the author was simply writing the book to take the piss out of anyone with a penchant for what I've listed above. Most of the characters seemed unable to help the
Jul 14, 2008 Emma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
This was crap. Quite simply.

Okay, so I didn't finish it. Mainly because for the first 50 pages (all that I read), all it was about was sex and drinking. I don't read books to get that, I can walk past my local nightclub at 3am and see quite enough of that thanks.

No thrilling plot. No good characters, they were totally unbelievable. In fact, Apples is totally unbelievable full stop. I'm a teenager, 18 years old in fact, so it wasn't too long ago I was the same age as these characters. And trust m
Jun 19, 2012 Selina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2012
I got Apples as the Kindle Deal of the Day for 99ct because the general idea and description sounded like something I might enjoy reading. Wrong.

The entire book is about drugs, sex and alcohol, written from Eve, Adam, a butterfly, unborn Baby Boy, street lights and random supporting characters – done in a way that I found disgusting as well as very disturbing. I also did not feel the humor and laughed or even smiled 0 times. I was hoping for some kind of growth or development of the characters,
Sep 22, 2012 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 17, 2008 Lou rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is shite and I learned absolutely nothing except to avoid Milward like the plague.
Apr 17, 2011 Carl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Richard Milward’s debut novel, Apples, you’d think nightly hardcore partying, sex, drugged up, booze-guzzling teenagers, are as normal and prevailing as the ever so dreary weather of England. Perhaps it is, for I have never been there and I wouldn’t really know. Nevertheless, the book explores such themes in the lives of young teenagers in the port of Middlesborough in northern England. Narrated by protagonists Adam and Eve, as well as few secondary characters, a streetlamp, and a butterfly, ...more
Jeremy Poole
Apr 13, 2012 Jeremy Poole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dark comedy set on a council estate in Middlesborough, this book is narrated alternativly by Adam, Eve a butterfly, an unborn baby and an assortment of delinquents.
Adam spents the whole book dealing with hisOCD, his violent father his attraction to Eve and the complications and beatings this causes him. Eve on the other hand is happy with her lot, which consists of a mother with cáncer, being raped twice, endless one night stands and more drugs tan the local chemist.
Did I say Comedy, yes, this
Catty O'Connor
Parts of this book really appealed to me. The different points of view from which it was written were really interesting. However after finishing it I did find myself with many questions in regards to lose threads in the plot. It was very well written and at the end of a chapter I found myself wanting to continue reading, which is in my opinion the mark of a truly good book. However I feel that in some situations when the author is trying to be mysterious, and this may just be to my lacking in i ...more
Andrew Mcq
I thought I would have no problem relating to the characters in this book, being reasonably culture-aware, but it appears I misjudged my generational gap slightly, teenagers have certainly changed since my more innocent times! But this is not necessarily a bad thing, it would be a strange world to only read stories set in a context you are at home with. I found it to have subtle depth beneath the hedonistic surface. It's very believable that a teenage girl can be concerned for her ill mother and ...more
Jan 29, 2013 Irene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess if you're not ready to write a Great Great Book, you might as well try to write something interesting and reader-catching: which is something Apples is.

Adam loves Eve. eve doesn't even know Adam exists. Eve is too busy with her friends, and her boyfriends, and her exboyfriends, and the night-stands, and then there are the drugs, and the alcohol, and the partying, and then there's make-up. And then her Mam has cancer, but that doesn't stop Eve from worrying about all the previous things.
Becky Shaknovich
This book is weird, creepy, and racist. The female characters are very obviously written from the perspective of the male gaze. It's particularly disgusting because they are teen girls... But the author was only 21 at the time of publication, which makes it just slightly less skeevy than if this stuff had been written by, say, a 40 year old man. Still. I'm creeped out.
I read this as it is based in my home town -Middlesbrough .I attended a large comprehensive school in what would be described as a 'deprived area' on the outskirts of the town. My problem with this book is purely down to the fact that I know the author is from a comfortable middle class market town close , but not too close, to Middlesbrough . I realise that authors don't need to have experienced the life they are writing about .What really annoys me is when writers sell an image of themselves t ...more
Nick Davies
Feb 13, 2016 Nick Davies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Very enjoyable, a funny modern North-East take on contemporary life and pop culture. I liked the book in the same way that I like Irvine Welsh's novels, but I feel I got even more due to the setting of the book in the area I was born. Though in some ways it's a bit sad of me to get 'extra' from a book just because there are scenes set in pubs and clubs that I've also been to, more of the resonance was a common sentiment w.r.t. the feelings of living and growing up in the North East. There are un ...more
Aug 03, 2010 Vaughan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I should have known a book with a blurb reading "Like Catcher in the Rye meets the Arctic Monkeys" wouldn't be so hot, but the first few pages sucked me right in, and then....after about 50 pages, I thought, "okay, now something is going to happen other than teens getting wasted in bars." Nope. Story is told through multiple first person narratives, all teens, some voices more compelling than others, except nothing really happens, and again, just how easy is it for 15 year olds to hang out in ba ...more
Scotch Egg
Sep 21, 2013 Scotch Egg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apples eh what a fruit I eat them rarely, I'd say I buy more apple juice than actual apples and would go as far as saying I've eaten more apple sauce than real apples this year, it's a must on roast pork, the crazy thing is I'm not a big fan of roast pork but crackling is a thing of joy so I put up with the meat, mind you it doesn't last long in our house crackling, I'd give my bottom lip for some right now I really would.
Milward you've done it again, I'm from Middlesbrough and occasionally indu
Amy Johnson
This book reminded me a little of the TV series 'Shameless'. Two main characters, the perspective switching between the two with sharp contrast, detailing their less-than-ideal lives and their quest to find something good and lasting amongst the bad and transient. But will they find it?
A raw dive in a difficult neighbourhood, we get to follow two young people dealing with many problems from their family and trying to explore or just party as much as they can.
The book is a fast read and surprisingly in the midst of all the partying, drugs and sex there's poetry, some moments of innocence and deep feelings.
There is a chapter from the point of view of a butterfly and one that is written backwards because it's a girl suffering from dyslexia.
It lives so fast and burn with the quest
Apples is a tragic, troubling and weird read — but not a bad one either.

Read full review here
I can see how some reviewers might not have liked this: it's far from cheery and the language is far from flowery.

But for me it was really good, fast paced and certainly hit several nails bang on the head.

It's a whirlwind of book, which captures the teenage lives in a provincial back water. I'm not sure that people without some knowledge of Middlesbrough's geography would get all the references, but Richard Milward paints graphic images of the kinds of areas we all know about, but few like to a
Steve Gillway
May 12, 2010 Steve Gillway rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book, but not a nice one. If you've ever wanted to know what goes on inside a modern teenager's head, this is the book for you. It exposes the heady mixture of narcissism and hedonism that is present in modern lives. The main characters are depicted as characters caught up in swirls of desire where schools and parents are present but distant with very little impact. It's well written, switching between the two main characters, and explores the changes in modern gender roles. In th ...more
Adam Froud
Nov 14, 2010 Adam Froud rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set against the backdrop of a Middlesbrough council estate, this book unfolds in the nightclubs, the pubs, and the bus shelters. It talks about the drugs and the under-age sex. It deals with loneliness, fear and isolation. This is good.

It's told by two narrators: Adam and Eve. Their voices and unique and realistic. Funny and clever. The dialogue is excellent. If Milward wasn't so young when he wrote this book, then I thing that the dialogue could have been appalling, but because of his age, he p
Anda Lutia
I want to read this again.
Nov 25, 2008 Sophie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found the Adam and Eve metaphor overly, ridiculously crass, the prose was irritating, the characters were tedious. It was meant to be satirical, but was more like an episode of Hollyoaks. However I think for teenagers and those looking for something light and pop, it's fine. The difficulty with books like this is that if they're not Bret Easton Ellis, they're announced terrible. I don't think this is terrible, it's just a first novel, and most first novels are flawed. Even Hemingway's first no ...more
I liked this book from the 50th page on roughly. Before I got attached to the main characters I felt a bit forced to keep on reading since it had received many good reviews. After this point I enjoyed this story of class-A issues and council estate kids with bad behaviour but with such sincere hearts that you can't hold a grudge against them. You end up empathising with them and reach the end hoping things do not turn out bad. I can see why critics liked this book for its social realism.
Ian Young
Richard Milward was 19 when he wrote this book, and his proximity to his subject matter probably gives it a degree of veracity. although I'm not sure how easily I can judge this. It covers similar ground to the Television drama Skins, and moves quickly, without too much sentimentality or pause for breath, to its untidy ending. The writing is good, and the characters convincing, Adam more than Eve to me. A very talented young writer, but not a book for the faint-hearted.
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Richard Milward was born in Middlesbrough in 1984. His debut novel, Apples, was published in 2007, and he recently passed his degree in Fine Art from Byam Shaw at Central St Martins in London. He currently lives in Middlesbrough.

Essay on his writing:
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