Sam Quixote's Reviews > The Apple: New Crimson Petal Stories

The Apple by Michel Faber
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's review
Jul 29, 2011

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Read in August, 2009

Having not read "The Crimson Petal and White" I'm not coming to this familiar with the characters. That said, this is my fourth Michel Faber novel so I know he can write and this book is no exception.

"Christmas in Silver Street" is about a prostitute called Apple who decides to give the son of one of the other prostitutes a decent Christmas dinner.

"Clara and the Rat Man" is about another prostitute called Clara, turned to streetwalking after being dismissed as a housemaid who encounters a strange chap who asks her to grow her one of her fingernails really long. The two attend a rat and dog fight in an underground pub where she is asked to do something to him with the fingernail.

The next one is about a libertine who has a spell of existentialism.

Another is about a letter from an American gentlemen to an English missionary woman living with her dad.

"Medicine" is about an elderly perfumier who dreams of the time he spent with the prostitute from the first story, Sugar.

The final one is about a suffragette movement march in Bloomsbury in 1908.

They're all interesting stories with believable characters and settings and overall the book is amusing if brief. It's not Faber's best but highlights once again his skill with the short story medium. Not one that's going to influence anyone or change your life but an interesting diversion and a quick read. One day I'll get around to reading his gigantic novel that preceded this collection.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Cecily What on earth made you read this without having read The Crimson Petal? Then again, if you had, you might have enjoyed it less! Try TCP; that is wonderful, imo.

message 2: by Sam (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sam Quixote I think I was guzzling up all of Faber's short fiction at the time and this fell under that remit. I remember trying TCP a while back but being put off by the second person narration (my least favourite style of storytelling) - was that a style he used throughout the book or was that just the opening pages?

Cecily I'm afraid I can't remember, and I can't locate the book right now. My hunch is not, but don't rely on that.

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