By Richard Milward
As a distraction from sleazy male admirers, spiteful classmates, and her mother’s progressing melanoma, Eve’s adolescent eyes are opened to a multicolored lifetime of fumbling one-night stands, drug-fuelled golf equipment, unending different types of candy-flavored affordable booze, and banal consumerist offerings. She slightly has time to note Adam. Adam, even if, notices Eve. whereas contending with sexual frustration, an asshole father, and more and more compulsive habit, is Adam too busy furtively interpreting porn in his bed room to make his stream on Eve?
A paean to the scattershot problems of turning out to be up, the issues of friendship, and the implications of hormones in overdrive, Apples is a deliciously pitch-perfect debut.
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Extra resources for Apples
From 1960–1963, Norse lived in the infamous “Beat Hotel” in Paris with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Gregory Corso, among others.
He dropped dead in his kitchen on December 4, 1958. Needless to say, Bukowski did not mourn his father’s passing. On the contrary, he was ecstatic. He was now beholden to no one, blessedly free to do as he pleased. Still, he performed his duties as a son, making funeral arrangements and contacting everyone he thought would want to know. The list was not long. Virtually all the Bukowskis were already dead, the Fetts still in Germany. A few neighbors came, and fewer friends. The only person crying at the funeral was Henry’s pitiful fiancé and it took everything Bukowski had not to slap her sensible with the truth about the man she nearly married.
Cuscaden was also the first to write an analytical essay on Bukowski’s work, called “Charles Bukowski: Poet in a Ruined Landscape” and printed in the spring-summer 1962 issue of Satis. Other supportive essays soon followed, including “Charles Bukowski and the Savage Surfaces” by Louisiana State University English professor and Bukowski pen pal John William Corrington (NorthWest Review, 1963). Individually, these appearances in the small press exposed Bukowski to a small group of readers, but collectively they kicked off his career and gave him the confidence needed to continue with his work.