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Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

by

Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A self-professed candyfreak, Steve Almond set out in search of a much-loved candy from his childhood and found himself on a tour of the small candy companies that are persevering in a marketplace where big corporations dominate.

From the Twin Bing to the Idaho Spud, the Valomilk to the Abba-Zaba, and discontinued bars such as the Caravelle, Marathon, and Choco-Lite, Almond uncovers a trove of singular candy bars made by unsung heroes working in old-fashioned factories to produce something they love. And in true candyfreak fashion, Almond lusciously describes the rich tastes that he has loved since childhood and continues to crave today. Steve Almond has written a comic but ultimately bittersweet story of how he grew up on candy — and how, for better and worse, the candy industry has grown up, too.

Candyfreak is the delicious story of one man's lifelong obsession with candy and his quest to discover its origins in America.

Review:

"There are enough anecdotes from Almond's lifelong fixation that readers will feel as if they know him....Almond's awareness of how strange he is...is strangely endearing." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Almond...details with mouthwatering descriptions his visits to the minor league of candy makers who continue to churn out their distinctive products....Sweet, never sickly — and quite informative." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The decidedly regional nature of American candy production takes Almond to all sorts of destinations where he encounters those tastefully inventive minds who satisfy the country's sweet tooth." Mark Knoblauch, Booklist

Review:

"Flavored with the author's amusingly tart sense of humor, Candyfreak is an intriguing chronicle of the passions that candy inspires and the pleasures it offers. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"I got a real sugar rush and a cluster headache reading this bittersweet book by Steve Almond-joy, the sugar daddy himself. I won't sugar coat it — this book is one sweet treat." Amy Sedaris

Review:

"Steve Almond is the Dave Eggers of food writing." John Thorne

Review:

"[A] fascinating exploration of the small American candy-making companies that persist in the shadow of such giants as Hershey, Nestlè and Mars and...a bittersweet personal memoir, is likely to make you [a candyfreak], too." Hartford Courant

Review:

"One word of caution: Reading this delicious narrative on an empty stomach will lead to a hasty trip to your local candy store to search for the delicacies Almond chronicles. Or at least that's what this sugar-addicted reviewer found herself doing." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"Almond goes at the subject as if he were a giddy 5-year-old, creating an entertaining book full of repeatable tidbits about the candy industry." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"[A] book that is part memoir of childhood candy consumption, part paean to small candy makers, and tremendously engaging throughout." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"As a fellow candy freak, I found Almond's illuminations highly enjoyable and, like Almond himself, I felt a pang of sadness when it was over." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)

Review:

"Reading Candyfreak is like following a kid into a candy store. Not only is Almond a glutton for his subject, he's a hilariously uninhibited writer....Candyfreak is like a good candy bar: a piece of delicious, ephemeral fun." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Skittish wordplay, comedy and hot-off-the-slab research mark this book as a winner among simple candy lovers, confectionoscenti and the freaks — those who enter a disassociative state when confronted with candy." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Synopsis:

Almond embarks on a hilarious, sugar-high tour through America's last remaining independent candy companies.

About the Author

Steve Almond is the author of the acclaimed story collection My Life in Heavy Metal. He is a regular commentator on the NPR affiliate WBUR in Boston, teaches creative writing at Boston College, and has eaten at least one piece of candy every single day of his entire life.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

RNELP, July 10, 2008 (view all comments by RNELP)
One of the best books I have read in a long time! Think tripping down memory lane as the character Charlie from the Chocolate Factory, dressed as Alice in Wonderland while they call you Bond, as in 007. This is where you will find it all-memories, freaky antectdotes, child labor injustices, and industrial espionage. Makes you think, laugh and crave for even more.........
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
Melissa Endicott, November 27, 2007 (view all comments by Melissa Endicott)
This is one of my favorite books...it is simply hilarious! I love that it is a memoir of his candy-eatin' childhood enrobed in rich satire, political and social commentary, and a history of candymaking and marketing in 20th century America. And, learning a bit about candy production is fun as well. Thinking of 'baby vomit', 'Sixlets' and 'dead cuticle-like coconut' just makes me laugh all over again. Fabulous!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(12 of 24 readers found this comment helpful)
Jeff McBride, January 22, 2007 (view all comments by Jeff McBride)
Semi-fascinating story about a few classic traditional candy business'. It was an OK read but lacked breadth. I'd only had a few of the candies described and I really would have enjoyed less depth on more candies. Still......I read it in two sittings and it made my mouth water!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(27 of 53 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156032933
Subtitle:
A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
Author:
Almond, Steve
Publisher:
Harvest Books
Subject:
Chocolate
Subject:
Candy
Subject:
Topic - Business and Professional
Subject:
Courses & Dishes - Chocolate
Subject:
Industries - General
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
HUM010000
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Business Writing
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Harvest Book
Publication Date:
April 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 9 to 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.57 lb
Age Level:
from 14

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Anthologies
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Business and Professional
Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Writing
Cooking and Food » Desserts and Candy » Chocolate and Candy
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » General

Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156032933 Reviews:
"Review" by , "There are enough anecdotes from Almond's lifelong fixation that readers will feel as if they know him....Almond's awareness of how strange he is...is strangely endearing."
"Review" by , "Almond...details with mouthwatering descriptions his visits to the minor league of candy makers who continue to churn out their distinctive products....Sweet, never sickly — and quite informative."
"Review" by , "The decidedly regional nature of American candy production takes Almond to all sorts of destinations where he encounters those tastefully inventive minds who satisfy the country's sweet tooth."
"Review" by , "Flavored with the author's amusingly tart sense of humor, Candyfreak is an intriguing chronicle of the passions that candy inspires and the pleasures it offers. Recommended."
"Review" by , "I got a real sugar rush and a cluster headache reading this bittersweet book by Steve Almond-joy, the sugar daddy himself. I won't sugar coat it — this book is one sweet treat."
"Review" by , "Steve Almond is the Dave Eggers of food writing."
"Review" by , "[A] fascinating exploration of the small American candy-making companies that persist in the shadow of such giants as Hershey, Nestlè and Mars and...a bittersweet personal memoir, is likely to make you [a candyfreak], too."
"Review" by , "One word of caution: Reading this delicious narrative on an empty stomach will lead to a hasty trip to your local candy store to search for the delicacies Almond chronicles. Or at least that's what this sugar-addicted reviewer found herself doing."
"Review" by , "Almond goes at the subject as if he were a giddy 5-year-old, creating an entertaining book full of repeatable tidbits about the candy industry."
"Review" by , "[A] book that is part memoir of childhood candy consumption, part paean to small candy makers, and tremendously engaging throughout."
"Review" by , "As a fellow candy freak, I found Almond's illuminations highly enjoyable and, like Almond himself, I felt a pang of sadness when it was over."
"Review" by , "Reading Candyfreak is like following a kid into a candy store. Not only is Almond a glutton for his subject, he's a hilariously uninhibited writer....Candyfreak is like a good candy bar: a piece of delicious, ephemeral fun."
"Review" by , "Skittish wordplay, comedy and hot-off-the-slab research mark this book as a winner among simple candy lovers, confectionoscenti and the freaks — those who enter a disassociative state when confronted with candy."
"Synopsis" by , Almond embarks on a hilarious, sugar-high tour through America's last remaining independent candy companies.
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