Synopses & Reviews
"The Iliad of the Iraq war" (Tim Weiner) — a gut-wrenching, beautiful memoir of the consequences of war on the psyche of a young man.
Eat the Apple is a daring, twisted, and darkly hilarious story of American youth and masculinity in an age of continuous war. Matt Young joined the Marine Corps at age eighteen after a drunken night culminating in wrapping his car around a fire hydrant. The teenage wasteland he fled followed him to the training bases charged with making him a Marine. Matt survived the training and then not one, not two, but three deployments to Iraq, where the testosterone, danger, and stakes for him and his fellow grunts were dialed up a dozen decibels.
With its kaleidoscopic array of literary forms, from interior dialogues to infographics to prose passages that read like poetry, Young's narrative powerfully mirrors the multifaceted nature of his experience. Visceral, ironic, self-lacerating, and ultimately redemptive, Young's story drops us unarmed into Marine Corps culture and lays bare the absurdism of 21st-century war, the manned-up vulnerability of those on the front lines, and the true, if often misguided, motivations that drove a young man to a life at war.
Searing in its honesty, tender in its vulnerability, and brilliantly written, Eat the Apple is a modern war classic in the making and a powerful coming-of-age story that maps the insane geography of our times.
"Matt Young has written the Iliad of the Iraq war — searing as the desert sun, powerful as a rocket-propelled grenade. He lived through three hard tours as a Marine and returned to tell this breathtaking tale. Read it if you love your country. Read it if you hate war. His book will strengthen your heart and soul." Tim Weiner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award
"[Young's] memoir is creatively told in atmospheric and gut-checking essays...[his] visceral prose, honed in college and writing programs after his tours of duty, confronts shame, guilt, and pain without flinching yet is beyond sympathetic to its subject; it is another act of service." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Young matches his stylistic daring with raw honesty, humor, and pathos....Young writes from a grunt's perspective that has changed little since Roman legionnaires yawned through night watch on Hadrian's Wall: endless tedium interrupted by moments of terror and hilarity, all under a strict regime of blind obedience and foolish machismo." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Matt Young holds an MA in Creative Writing from Miami University and is the recipient of fellowships with Words After War and the Carey Institute for Global Good. His work can be found in Tin House, Word Riot, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. He is a combat veteran, and lives in Olympia, Washington, where he teaches writing.
Matt Young on PowellsBooks.Blog
Hi, I'm Matt! I wrote a book called Eat the Apple