Candyfreak : A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

3.76 (4,995 ratings by Goodreads)

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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 129.54 x 198.12 x 22.86mm | 272.15g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156032937
  • 9780156032933
  • 900,225

Back cover copy

"You can almost taste the marshmallow." --"USA Today
"Do you remember Caravelles, Choco-Lites, Oompahs, and Marathons? Or how about Cookies n' Mints or Kit Kat Darks? Steve Almond does, but many of these candies can't be found anymore, and Almond wanted to know why. Where'd they go? When Almond embarked on a nationwide journey he discovered a candy industry ruled by conglomerates, where the little guys, the last remaining link to the golden age of the candy bar in America, struggle to survive. Makers of theTwin Bing, the Idaho Spud, the Goo Goo Cluster, the Valomilk, and a dozen other quirky bars, invited Almond in for a peek at how glorious candy can be.
Part candy porn and polemic, part social history and confession, this is the story of how Steve Almond grew up on candy -- and how, for better and worse, candy has grown up, too.
"Brilliant! Candyfreak has neither calories nor cabs." --"People" magazine (Critic's Choice)
"An exuberant tribute to cheap, plentiful, locally produced sweets and "the small, attainable pleasures" they provide. Like a good candy bar: a piece of delicious, ephemeral fun." --"San Francisco Chronicle"
"The verdict: Utterly irresistible." --"Atlanta Journal-Constitution"
"Combines the patter of a stand-up comic with the soul of a 10-year-old whose allowance is burning a hole in his pocket.. . . . An off-the-wall odyssey." --"Boston Globe"
"There are people who enjoy an occasional Milky Way and then there's Steve Almond (yes, that's his real name)." -"Entertainment Weekly
As seen on CNN and Food TV.
Steve Almond is the author of the acclaimed story collection "My Life in Heavy Metal" and "The Evil B.B.Chow and Other Stories." He 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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Review quote

"Hysterically funny . . . A delicious read."-PEOPLE
"Combines the patter of a stand-up comic with the soul of a 10-year-old whose allowance is burning a hole in his pocket . . . A story as all-American as the aroma of peanut butter and milk chocolate wafting from its pages."-THE BOSTON GLOBE
"This is gonzo food writing at its best. Candyfreak is like a good candy bar: a piece of delicious, ephemeral fun." -SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
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Rating details

4,995 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 24% (1,211)
4 38% (1,923)
3 29% (1,430)
2 7% (363)
1 1% (68)
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