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The Smell of Apples

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Overview

Winner of the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction from the Los Angeles Times

Winner of the M-Net Award

Winner of The Eugene Marais Award

Winner of the CNA Literary Award

Winner of the Betty Trask Award

A Booker Prize Nominee

Set in the bitter twilight of apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s, The Smell ...

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Overview

Winner of the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction from the Los Angeles Times

Winner of the M-Net Award

Winner of The Eugene Marais Award

Winner of the CNA Literary Award

Winner of the Betty Trask Award

A Booker Prize Nominee

Set in the bitter twilight of apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s, The Smell of Apples is a haunting story narrated by eleven-year-old Marnus Erasmus, who records the social turmoil and racial oppression that are destroying his own land. Using his family as a microcosm of the corroding society at large, Marnus tells a troubling tale of a childhood corrupted, of unexpected sexual defilements, and of an innocence gone astray.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mark Behr has created a portrait of Afrikaner society in the mid 1970s as vivid and powerful as it is chilling."—Claire Messud, The Washington Post Book World

"This is, quite simply, an extraordinary book."—Jean Patteson, Orlando Sentinel

"A gripping and disturbing story."—J.M. Coetzee

Claire Messud
Mr. Behr has created a portrait of Afrikaner society in the mid 1970s as vivid and powerful as it is chilling. -- The Washington Post BookWorld
Tony Eprile
Mr. Behr has created a lyrical and memorable...story. -- The New York Times Book Review
J. M. Coetze,
A gripping and disturbing story.
Fiona Luis
A knock-out novel from beginning to end…Masterful.
—Fiona Luis The Boston Globe
Jean Patteson
This is, quite simply, an extraordinary book.
—Jean Patteson Orlando Sentinel
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312152093
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 3/15/1997
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 486,966
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Behr was born in Tanzania in 1963, and moved as a child to South Africa. He was educated in South Africa, Norway, and the United States. The Smell of Apples won South Africa's biggest literary prize, the M-Net Award, The Eugene Marais Award, and the CNA Debut Literary Award. It also received the Betty Trask Award for the best first novel published in the United Kingdom, and was shortlisted for both the Steinbeck and Guardian Literary Awards.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2002

    Apartheid as seen by a child

    The novel, set in South Africa during the 1970s, relates the story of an Afrikaans family through the eyes of the narrator, Marnus Erasmus. Marnus is a child of the white, brutal culture and the system of the apartheid. He lives a seemingly happy life, influenced by his father, who is a general in the South African army. Against a background of racial prejudices, the reader gets to know the reality of the Erasmus family, including the sexual molestation of Marnus´s best friend (Frikkie) by his father and an love-affair between his mother and a visiting Chilean general. Although I found the novel¿s shocking ending less than credible, the gradual uncovering of the enormous pressures on this family gives this novel a brooding tension. Mark Behr has created a lyrical and memorable child narrator, along with a really great background-story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2000

    Embrace the Smell of Apples

    Having read Behr's latest, EMBRACE and having re-read the Smell of Apples, one doubts the reality of the events. Having had the pleasure to attend the same high school as Behr, one is shocked by his vivid writing (his ability to convince you it happened, if not to him, to someone close to him) and his wisdom to observe so much as a child. Not to mention his ability to remember so well. Both is a must read for any young male that grew up believing his the only male loving boy in town. An absolute must for GOP, homophobes and others out there placing hundreds of children in the same slef-doubt on a daily basis.

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