Josh Ang's Reviews > The Apple: New Crimson Petal Stories

The Apple by Michel Faber
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's review
Jan 25, 2011

really liked it
Read in December, 2009

This collection of stories offers another glimpse of the much-loved characters of Faber's Victorian novel The Crimson Petal and the White.

In that novel, the fates of main character Sugar and her charge Sophie were inconclusive and many fans of the novel hoped for a sequel. However, Faber ruled out that possibility, perhaps in an effort to preserve the definitive status of that sprawling novel.

The Sugar that appears in two of the stories in this collection, including the titular story, is still in her heyday at Mrs Castaways'. They present the finer qualities of a whore with heart that has endeared her to most readers.

Other interesting nuggets include what happens to other characters like Clara, formerly a maid at Rackhams', in one of the more haunting stories `Clara and the Rat Man'. Less satisfying for me, though most revealing of Sugar and Sophie's fates, is the novella of sorts, `A Mighty Horde of Women in Very Big Hats, Advancing'.

But even the less enjoyable of Faber's stories bear his trademark style, which is always in clear and lively prose.
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