Fortunately for me, I scanned a few of the reviews on Amazon before reading this collection of short stories, so I knew that it didn't quite offer what I'd hoped for. At the very least this led me to be less disappointed when I read it, knowing that it was less a sequel to The Crimson Petal and the White and more a companion to that novel. In reading The Apple one does get to find out a bit about the future of some of the important characters from Crimson, but to be honest there are also a few stories in The Apple that feel more like pointless filler than anything else. There are still plenty of questions left unanswered, and The Apple raises some new questions as well, which is of course a bit frustrating. Also, as short stories go the only one that is included in this volume that is also mentionable as a perfectly acceptable stand alone short story is "Clara and the Rat Man"; however, because of the inclusion of stories that revealed some of the pasts and futures of Crimson characters, the story about Clara was a bit lost in the fold in my opinion.
3/5 stars for the collection as a whole.
"She turns her face away from the stack of books and periodicals. She was foolish to buy them in the first place...What is the point of reading other people's stories? She ought to be writing her own. Reading, by its very nature, is an admission of defeat, a ritual of self-humiliation: it shows that you believe other lives are more interesting than yours."
"Life defies our intentions to be rational; it misleads and teases us until we are driven to do foolish things."