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The Taste of Apple

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Pedro Jones is lost. Abandoned by his father and forced into commission housing with his Filipino immigrant mother, the future seems bleak. But when Pedro meets the 'mad' street busker, Johnny Lazzaro, and gets involved with the East Timor freedom movement, life takes an unexpected detour through the uncharted backblocks of the human heart.
Paperback, 328 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Interactive Press
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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  16 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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Nic
The Taste of Apple is written in verse and it is done well. It is the coming of age story of Pedro who's father walks out on him and his Filipino mother forcing them to move into commission housing. There he meets and becomes friends with Johnny, a street busker who lives in his housing estate and Pedro's life changes.

I love the mix of cultures in The Taste of Apples with Pedro's Filipino background and the Australian setting. I also adored all the Aussie references like James Marsden and the ol
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Jess - The Tales Compendium
Set in Australia mostly during the late nineties, The Taste of Apple is a book about finding out who you are, discovering the simplest life-lessons from unexpected people, the issues of racism, government accountability and responsibility, and looks at rising to a challenge no matter what kind of hurdles are thrown your way. It also highlights the plight of the East Timorese trying to seek asylum after the Dili Massacre of 1991.

The book, told entirely in verse, is set apart by six chapters, each
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Cass -  Words on Paper
4/5

To say I'm surprised that I actually liked this is an understatement. My track record with verse novels, I admit, hasn't been very good - I normally have problems connecting with the characters. However, with THE TASTE OF APPLE, this isn't an issue. Possibly because there are just so many dimensions, that I felt I actually knew the characters.

Pedro Jones has a fairly ordinary difficult upbringing, and when his father abandons him and his mother and sister, he's forced into commission housing.
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Sheree
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sheree by: James Laidler
4.5 stars

I have to confess I said yes to reviewing James's novel purely for the fact that I enjoy supporting Australian author's and I thought the book trailer was exceptional but my expectation of enjoying The Taste Of Apple was actually quite low. *embarrassed grin* I'm keen to try new things but I didn't think I'd like the verse style but this is one experience that echoes the addage "don't knock it till you've tried it."

We follow Pedro's journey from age 10 to 18, from a 2 parent home in th
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Deb
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There is more than one way to experience The Taste of Apple. James Laidler’s debut verse novel is available as an ebook, paperback and enhanced audio CD.

It is an ambitious and accomplished work and is the fruit of a lengthy creativeprocess. The audio CD was produced by musician Don Stewart at Unmuzzled Studios in Victoria, with most of the lyrics written by Laidler, and most of the music composed by Stewart. It contains thirteen very carefully selected tracks that capture and dramatise the essen
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Amanda-Lee (StoryWings)
The Taste of Apple was not only better than I was expecting, it was exceptional.

Pedro is a half-caste living in Australia with his Filipino mother and Australian father. Life is as ok as it gets when your parents have a strained relationship and you’re going to a school where everyone hates you because of your intelligence and your background. But everything changes when Pedro’s father leaves one day and never comes back, leaving nothing but a note for his wife saying that it is time to move on.
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Kylie Purdie
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing, incredible, thought provoking book. Written entirely in verse, it challenges the reader to really think and absorb what is going on. The verse format gives a quick flow to the book, requiring the author to leave out any non essential information. I found the lack of description refreshing, allowing me to picture the scene in my head without any preconceptions of what the author saw. But best of all for me, I could easily follow the story, something I have previously had prob ...more
Pam Saunders
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A respected literary friend suggested this book, and to be honest I thought oh no, it looks self published and my pre-conception was unedited and indulgent.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Every word is right.

Maybe because I have lived and worked in some of the areas and with similiar characters to those mentioned in the book but I found the characters genuine, diverse and lingering.

James book is poetry, a little like Steven Herrick and Catherine Bateson.

It's about Petro who lives with his absent father
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Melissa
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've never read anything in verse before. With the mix of audio and reading it definitely brings that realistic and very australian feel to the book. A book that will get you thinking!

Great style! I wish it was longer ;)
Juta
Feb 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: tried-to-read
I only read a few pages of this. It's a novel length poem. Ain't nobody got time for that! Well...I have the time, just not the inclination...
Katherine
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
enjoyed the 'verse novel' genre not having much of a poetry / verse history, well done James a great read, particularly enjoy the 'live' performances & the addition of sound track on the CD!
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