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Candyfreak
Cover of Candyfreak
Candyfreak
A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
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Perhaps you remember The Marathon, Oompahs, Bit-O-Choc, or Kit Kat Dark. Where did they go? Driven by his obsession, stubborn idealism, and the promise of free candy, self-confessed candyfreak Steve Almond takes off on a quest to discover candy's origins in America, to explore little companies that continue to get by on pluck and perseverance, and to witness the glorious excess of candy manufacturing. Part candy porn, part candy polemic, part social history, part confession, Candyfreak explores the role candy plays in our lives as both source of pleasure and escape from pain. By turns ecstatic, comic, and bittersweet, Candyfreak is the story of how Steve Almond grew up on candy---and how, for better and worse, candy has grown up too.

Original material © 2004 Steve Almond. Published by arrangement with Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Perhaps you remember The Marathon, Oompahs, Bit-O-Choc, or Kit Kat Dark. Where did they go? Driven by his obsession, stubborn idealism, and the promise of free candy, self-confessed candyfreak Steve Almond takes off on a quest to discover candy's origins in America, to explore little companies that continue to get by on pluck and perseverance, and to witness the glorious excess of candy manufacturing. Part candy porn, part candy polemic, part social history, part confession, Candyfreak explores the role candy plays in our lives as both source of pleasure and escape from pain. By turns ecstatic, comic, and bittersweet, Candyfreak is the story of how Steve Almond grew up on candy---and how, for better and worse, candy has grown up too.

Original material © 2004 Steve Almond. Published by arrangement with Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

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About the Author-
  • Author and commentator STEVE ALMOND has published stories and poems in publications ranging from Playboy to Tin House to Zeotrope, and they have been widely anthologized. He is a regular commentator on the NPR afficiate 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.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine If you're dieting or diabetic, avoid this audiobook. The descriptions of huge machines extruding chocolate bars and the smell of roasting nuts would cause any such person agony until satisfied with a forbidden fix. Oliver Wyman's enthusiasm and ecstasy convey every sensual delight the author intends as he describes extinct and existing candy--its shape, color, consistency, and aroma. Starting with the author's childhood memories of sinful snacks, the story moves to a visit with the world's candy bar expert, the collector of 20,000 confection wrappers and author of two forgotten books. The work also features tours of factories and tasty biographies of the inventors of wonderful sweets we've all had on our tongues. J.A.H. (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 26, 2004
    The appropriately named Almond goes beyond candy obsession to enter the realm of "freakdom." Right up front, he divulges that he has eaten a piece of candy "every single day of his entire life," "thinks about candy at least once an hour" and "has between three and seven pounds of candy in his house at all times." Indeed, Almond's fascination is no mere hobby—it's taken over his life. And what's a Boston College creative writing teacher to do when he can't get M&Ms, Clark Bars and Bottle Caps off his mind? Write a book on candy, of course. Almond's tribute falls somewhere between Hilary Liftin's decidedly personal Candy and Me
    and Tim Richardson's almost scholarly Sweets: A History of Candy
    . There are enough anecdotes from Almond's lifelong fixation that readers will feel as if they know him (about halfway through the book, when Almond is visiting a factory and a marketing director offers him a taste of a coconut treat, readers will know why he tells her, "I'm really kind of full"—he hates coconut). But there are also enough facts to draw readers' attention away from the unnaturally fanatical Almond and onto the subject at hand. Almond isn't interested in "The Big Three" (Nestlé, Hershey's and Mars). Instead, he checks out "the little guys," visiting the roasters at Goldenberg's Peanut Chews headquarters and hanging out with a "chocolate engineer" at a gourmet chocolate lab in Vermont. Almond's awareness of how strange he is—the man actually buys "seconds" of certain candies and refers to the popular chocolate mint parfait as "the Andes oeuvre"—is strangely endearing.

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A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
Steve Almond
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