Review: Eat the Apple

by Matt Young (Bloomsbury USA, 2018)

It’s been said that truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young’s memoir tackles the spaces in between to highlight his essential theme: war sucks but people keep taking a bite out of it. The title comes from a Marine Corps quip “Eat the Apple, F*#* the Corps” muttered when the going gets tough, as it often does.

From the first moment of Marine Corps enlistment through boot camp and three deployments to Iraq, Young remembers his experiences in short episodes. A cinematic attention to setting is juxtaposed with the author’s interior sense of being.

Short, creative chapters flash forward and back in time. Chapter titles like “Choose Your Own Adventure”, “How to Feel Ashamed for Things You Never Did”, “Meeting the Mortar God” and “Brothers” summon the reader behind the scenes of the military and also into the musings of one particular enlisted Marine. Most of these chapters could stand alone; collected, they resonate with a creative thirst to make sense of life in a war zone, and life after deployment, and life in general.

Young plays with literary form and ever-changing points of view, devising clever strategies to jump into difficult emotional territory. Read full review on BookBrowse.

Eat the Apple cover.jpg
Karen Lewis