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Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of Americaby Steve Almond
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"Steve Almond is the Dave Eggers of food writing." John Thorne
"[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
"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
"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
"[A] book that is part memoir of childhood candy consumption, part paean to small candy makers, and tremendously engaging throughout." Chicago Sun-Times
"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)
"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
"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
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.
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