Monday, July 4, 2011

The Taste of Apple by James Laidler

Title: The Taste of Apple
Author:  James Laidler
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Interactive Press  
Publication Date:  1st September 2010
ISBN:  9781921479816
Stand alone or series:  Stand Alone
Pages:  328 pages 
Book Received from:  James Laidler (Author
First Lines:  A tar-coated roof, an apartment block, Lennox Street
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.
My Thoughts:
I've never read a verse novel ever, so I wasn't sure what I was expecting when James sent a copy of The Taste of Apple and the cd compilation with it.  One flick through the book and I was surprised to find the whole thing divided up into stages of Pedro's life and within that freelance poetry.

Right off the bat I can honestly say I've probably taken more away from this book than I have from anything I've read so far.   The way the story is told with the cd and book combo brought the whole story to life and I could imagine being there in Pedro's shoes hearing what he heard and seeing and feeling the things he had.

 So many subjects are touched upon throughout Pedro's story, some that I can relate to, others I can only imagine how Pedro would feel but they are told in such a way that you come away feeling as if you were the one to feel his father abandon him and his family.  To experience the harsh reality of living in Lennox Street and the stories that Pedro hears while out with Johnny.

James Laidler has got a way with words.  There's no doubt about it.  And I can tell you, coming from a person who used to hate poetry that didn't rhyme, well I've definitely changed my views on that.  I loved The Taste of Apple from beginning to finish. Absorbed every emotion and detail that I possibly could with both the book and the cd and highly recommend that you at least try this version of reading.  It's got that raw Australian feel to it.

And if you have had the chance to read it, which poem struck a chord with you?  The one that really got to me was Johnny's Song (Track 7)

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