Fruit: A Novel About A Boy and His Nipples by Brian FrancisFruit: A Novel About A Boy and His Nipples by Brian Francis

Fruit: A Novel About A Boy and His Nipples

byBrian Francis

Paperback | May 1, 2004

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Thirteen-year-old Peter Paddington is overweight, the subject of his classmates' ridicule, and the victim of too many bad movie-of-the-week storylines. When his nipples begin speaking to him one day and inform him of their diabolical plan to expose his secret desires, Peter finds himself cornered in a world that seems to have no tolerance for difference. Peter's only solace is "The Bedtime Movies" - perfect-world fantasies that lull him to sleep every night. But when the lines between Peter's fantasies and his reality begin to blur, his hilarious adventures in overeating, family dysfunction, and the terrifying world of sexual awakening really begin.
Brian Francis has worked as a freelance writer for a variety of magazines and newspapers, including NOW and Xtra. In 2000, he was the recipient of the Emerging Author Award, presented by the Writers’ Union of Canada. He lives in Toronto.
Title:Fruit: A Novel About A Boy and His NipplesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:278 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.7 inPublished:May 1, 2004Publisher:ECW PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1550226207

ISBN - 13:9781550226201


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious, heartbreaking. I read this book quite some time ago but it recently showed up on my recommendations. One of my absolute favourites! Very touching, very funny.
Date published: 2018-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I laughed so much with this book!! Hilarious :-D I borrowed my child's book and read this on my own and I couldn't stop laughing and yet part of it reminded me of growing up in the 70s too. It seemed familiar, the paper route, the strange neighbours. It was a curious blend of comedy and some bittersweet, wistful moments. One of my favourite characters was the very gutsy Italian neighbour who was always doing tomatoes in her garage. Great read!! (fast and funny)
Date published: 2017-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny, sad, and so lovely I borrowed this book and couldn't put it down. I loved Peter the main character he killed me - I laughed out loud a number of times reading this book. His thoughts were just bang-on, true to life. I ended up purchasing it so that I could have my own copy.
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite books! Fruit by Brian Francis manages to be hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure. Following a boy named Peter whose nipples start talking to him, Fruit is a powerful look at feeling uncomfortable in your own body and in your own life. The first-person narrative lets Peter's strong (and often oblivious) voice shine through. The characters are fully-developed and hilarious. Honestly, for a book that's about talking nipples, this is one of the most true-to-life reads I've found.
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good, very enjoyable 3.75 stars It's the mid 1980s. Peter Paddington is 13-years old and in grade 8 in a school in Sarnia, Ontario. He has two older sisters and is overweight. He knows he is not normal and suddenly his nipples start talking to him. I enjoyed this. Peter is quite humourous in trying to figure out what's going on with his body and in his head (and what's with those talking nipples!) I loved the 80s references (mostly tv and music, but fashion and probably other references I'm not thinking of are there, too). Peter has such interesting daydreams! This was a really good, really enjoyable coming of age novel.
Date published: 2012-02-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting Read The book overall was quite well written. The author was able to create these lovable characters that all talked differently, and there were many times when I was actually laughing out loud. The ending of the book on the other hand was a little disappointing. It kind of just ended without leaving the reader to have a little snip-it of what was going to happen to the characters.
Date published: 2011-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Sweet and Believable Don't let the title throw you for a loop; this book was really well done. The writing style reflects the young narrator (it's his story), so there is not much depth to the vocabulary. For me, the simplicity did nothing but add character to the story and deepen my empathy for Peter (the narrator). The title comes into play at many times and in many interesting and well thought out ways throughout the book, including the ending of the story. Provocative and heart rending. The life and trying times of young Peter Paddington kept me reading. Thoroughly entertaining.
Date published: 2010-07-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Likeable, but not Loveable My initial reaction to this book was dislike. It’s told from the point of view of a 13-year-old boy, but it’s actually written in a fashion that would make you believe that it truly is a 13-year-old, with immature language and grandiose 13-year-old ideas (remember when you were young and truly believed you would someday be famous). So I found it irritating. Another issue I had was that none of the characters were likeable, I either really disliked them (especially the Mother, I hated her straight through to the end) or they annoyed me, even the main character. But I kept reading. And what I finally realized is that the book is actually incredibly well written. Most coming of age tales are stylized stories written by older authors for older audiences. But Brian Francis wrote this novel in a style that truly made me believe that I was privy to the inner workings of a 13-year-old teen. The conversations and daydreaming were spot on. And the insecurities and immaturity only added to the believability. I enjoyed the ending the most because there is finally some character growth and discovery. As the book came to a close I found myself rooting for Peter and wanting to know what happened. Did he ever get control over his weight struggles, did he finally understand what his nipples were trying to tell him. Also the use of the nipples was great, again, Brian Francis did an amazing job of getting inside this kid and making it believable. In the end I rate books based on my entertainment level. I liked this book but I wouldn’t read it again and I likely wouldn’t recommend it, which is why it gets 3 stars. That being said, it is incredibly well crafted and a wonderful coming of age novel.
Date published: 2010-04-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Odd, but intriguing This book is a very easy read but I found that the content made up for it. I felt horrible for the boy, just wanted to be his friend. Fascinating approach to incorporate transsexuality.
Date published: 2009-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from READ THIS!! This is one of the best things I've ever read! I found myself laughing hysterically over the events in this book, and then at times feeling quite sorry for Peter. Peter Paddington is in Grade 8, and is trying to lose weight, get friends (who are boys), and change his wardrobe before entering Grade 9. He has to deal with pressure from his parents and two annoying sisters, friends who are ugly and swear all the time, and his "bedtime movies" which are sometimes nightmares in disguise. AND! his nipples talk to him..act sort of a like his concious which to him is completely annoying. Brian Francis does such a wonderful job of portraying what it is like to be 13, insecure, trying to fit in, and observant to things that are happening around us at that age. READ THIS BOOK! It's the S**T!!!
Date published: 2009-04-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well done We are all obsessed about how we look to a certain extent. This feeling of self-consciousness of body image is far more intense as teenagers. In “Fruit”, we went on the inner journey of Peter Paddington, who was frequently picked on by his classmates for his being overweight; being extremely weak in sports and not doing especially good in class was commonly perceived by peers as being nerdy. There are a lot of fun and hilarious moments in this novel. Things Peter contemplated might appear silly and crazy, but at the same time strike me as amazingly sane and exceptionally critical. I would say “Fruit” is about finding the courage to become the best of oneself, amidst daunting difficulties and ridicules. As a sidetrack, I had the privilege of meeting Jack David, a Publisher of the ECW Press, at a publishing and writing workshop last month (Feb 2009). He hit a high note when he mentioned the company’s policy in having the higher up to screen manuscripts, for gems; he has infected me with his passion in treasuring good talents and writings. I thought, well done for finding “Fruit”, and of course, not surprisingly, when they have this good ideology in place.
Date published: 2009-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremly Entertaining I bought the book yesterday and i have read half of it already. It is so funny. My boyfriend who never reads wants to read it when im done. I cannot remember the last time i have laughed out loud while reading.
Date published: 2009-03-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Ten minutes after writing this I found out that Mercy Among the Children had been the first to go! In the interest of broadening my literary range and exposing myself to more Canadian talent, I decided to read the selections from CBC’s Canada Reads 2009. After thoroughly enjoying Mercy Among the Children, I was anxious and excited to move on to the next book, to see if there was any chance that David Adams Richards could be defeated. Unless Canadians have collectively lost their marbles, there is certainly no danger of this happening with Fruit. Life can be difficult at thirteen, and for Peter Paddington there is no exception. In fact things are worse for him as he is more than fifty pounds overweight, struggling with his sexuality, and – this is the real kicker – wakes up one morning to find that his nipples have transformed in to what look like maraschino cherries, that, to make matters worse, spontaneously start talking to him. That’s right, you didn’t read that wrong, talking nipples. The inclusion of this bizarre aspect to the story was the point of no return for my attention span, I’m afraid. Since the conversations his nipples would instigate were of an antagonizing nature, I can only assume that this was meant to signify his body’s betrayal of him, a feeling common to many people struggling with their weight. Clever, I suppose, but a little too bizarre in my opinion. There were some redeeming qualities to the story though, as Peter was often extremely creative and witty. His habits of asserting himself through mental telepathy, worshiping the Virgin Mary through his closet door frame, and concocting homo-erotic bedtime stories to help lull him to sleep at night, had me giggling. On the flipside, Fruit is riddled with cliché, and most of the characters are the epitome of common stereotypes. There’s the Italian family… with the kitchen in their basement, who own a restaurant, with a daughter that works at said restaurant whilst tending to the household chores and minding the ripening tomatoes, and while she does all this, her Camaro driving brother is given free reign to do whatever he pleases, as he is the apple of his non-English speaking parent’s eyes. The clichés continued with fervor in the overbearing, menopausal mother with the Protestant inferiority complex, and all of the school cliques; goody-goodies, (head) bangers, athletic group, slutty girls group, et cetera, et cetera. It soon becomes apparent that this typecasting must be part of the author’s shtick, his way of exposing the conventions of everyday existence, I’m guessing. Before reading Fruit I had heard from quite a few people that they had enjoyed it, so I suppose I could be missing something. From what I gather, it’s a story about becoming an active member in your own life, and that, to me, is an important message. However, Brian Francis’ lack of capture and the endless cliché left a lot to be desired. Now it’s on to The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay!
Date published: 2009-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from heart wrenching and hilarious at once A beautifully crafted work by a first-time novelist who writes like an old master comfortably hitting his stride. Francis is not just a new novelist to watch, he is a fine novelist to read and fully enjoy today.
Date published: 2009-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great I loved this book; I found I was usually chuckling or at times even so sad for Peter. I have a feeling that this story hits so close to the truth for so many boys this age. I wonder if the author is reflected here or someone very close. Anyway I really enjoyed this read.
Date published: 2009-01-21

Editorial Reviews

"What a coup for Francis. Fruit is not only a funny, poignant book, it'll give you a whole new view of Sarnia, Ontario."  —NOW Magazine