Canongate U.S.
Canongate U.S.
Canongate U.S.


A Novel

by Richard Milward

“Think of it as Less Than Nought . . . [A] bleak but absorbing first novel . . . If this terrifyingly talented author really does have his finger on the pulse of today’s youth, parents should probably just give up right now.” —Jeff Turrentine, New York Times Book Review

  • Imprint Canongate U.S.
  • Page Count 208
  • Publication Date June 10, 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1-8476-7178-3
  • Dimensions 5.25" x 7.13"
  • US List Price $15.00

About The Book

In the vein of Brett Easton Ellis’s The Informers and Man Booker Prize finalist M.J. Hyland’s How the Light Gets In, Apples is a surprising, wise little novel of the longings of MySpace-age adolescence told with wit, charm, and a startlingly fresh narrative voice.

As a distraction from sleazy male admirers, spiteful classmates, and her mother’s progressing cancer, Eve’s adolescent eyes are opened to a multicolored life of fumbling one-night stands, drug-fueled clubs, endless varieties of candy-flavored cheap booze, and banal consumerist choices. She barely has time to notice Adam. Adam, however, notices Eve. While contending with sexual frustration, an asshole father, and increasingly compulsive behavior, is Adam too busy furtively reading porn in his bedroom to make his move on Eve?

A paean to the scattershot difficulties of growing up, the complications of friendship, and the consequences of hormones in overdrive, Apples is a deliciously pitch-perfect debut.

Tags Literary


Apples is an astonishing debut. . . . [It] articulates what it is to be young. . . . The Catcher in the Rye meets the Arctic Monkeys.” —The Times Magazine (London)

“Think of it as Less Than Nought . . . [A] bleak but absorbing first novel . . . If this terrifyingly talented author really does have his finger on the pulse of today’s youth, parents should probably just give up right now.” —Jeff Turrentine, New York Times Book Review

Apples is crass, graphic, funny, and unnerving. . . . Well constructed and streaming with gorgeous language, it’s a frighteningly recognizable glimpse into a particular experience of adolescence.” —The Guardian

“[An] unbelievably good, affecting, unpretentious debut novel ” more than anything, Apples feels truthful: whether the drugs, the sex, the boozing or the brutal insecurities of adolescence, it all smacks beautifully of the real thing.” —Jon Elek, Time Out

“A retelling of Paradise Lost set on a Middlesbrough housing estate, Apples is the sort of idea that more experienced authors would have thought twice about attempting, but Milward not only pulls it off, he does so in style . . . Apples is experimental, fearless, funny and frightening.” —Sarah Hughes, Observer

Apples is an electrifying book, as frightening as it is funny, full of words that will have you running to urbandictionary.com, before cunningly using them in your own everyday speech.” —Melissa Katsoulis, The Times

“With its penchant for British slang and adolescent hedonism, Apples [is] worth checking out for those who appreciate the literary tradition established by the likes of fellow Brit Melvin Burgess.” —Bookslut

“Milward’s story features two date rapes, alcohol and various drugs, yet the book does not come across like a pretentious or amateurish attempt at Irvine Welsh for the younger set . . . instead, it’s a confident, no-holds-barrSunday Business Post

“Twenty-one-year-old Middlesbrough wunderkind Milward’s debut novel is a modern Adam & Eve story set on a council estate . . . It’s Skins meets Gabriel Garcia Marquez in a beautifully written account of teenage angst, and familiar nostalgic material—hanging out in McDonald’s, being caught with your father’s Razzle, being an absolute dick until you leave home—seem utterly original in Milward’s youthful hands.” —Arena

“What elevates Apples above so many other stories of teen misadventure is Milward’s deft characterization and authentic vernacular. There’s no glee in his prose, describing the sleazier side of teen life. Heartbreaking, honest and accurate, Apples reads like the book of Genesis recreated on the set of Shameless . . . a tough, explicit yet tender coming-of-age story.” —The London Paper

“Milward, Middlesbrough born and raised and only recently out of his own teens, so sensitively conveys the thought processes of his ‘beauty and the geek’ narrators you find yourself indulging rather than censuring them. I cannot remember the last time I cared about two characters as much as I did for Adam and Eve. Their overlapping accounts . . . viscerally capture adolescence: the thrills, the idealism, the cruelty and above all the fear.” —Literary Review

“The Look Back in Anger of the MySpace generation.” —Michael Bracewell

Apples will probably be described as Kes in day-glo or A Catcher in the Rye for Smiths fans, but this short, unassuming and charming first novel stands in a class of its own.” —Dazed

“A wonderful take on amoral youth . . . Apples is unlike any other novel I’ve read. Who knows? We may have discovered our J. D. Salinger early.” —Financial Times

“If the young Brett Easton Ellis had grown up in a North of England council estate/housing project, Less Than Zero might have looked a bit like Apples. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read about being young, working-class and British.” —Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting