Customer Reviews for

Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    Like Twizzlers, fun for a while, then tiresome

    When I saw the title of this book, I knew I had to read it because it sounded as if it could be my autobiography. I especially related to part three of 'Some things you should know about the author,' which reads 'The author has between three and seven pounds of candy in his house at all times.' I immediately catalogued my candy after reading that line and found it to be, perhaps sadly, true of myself. Almond's stories of insatiable cravings, failed attempts to eat baker's chocolate, and pining for long-gone candies 'Mr. Melons anyone?' certainly seemed as if they could come from my own sugar-fueled journals. However, after a while Almond's book changes from his memoirs to detailed accounts of every candy factory he ever visited. Sure, these stories are kind of fun, but after the third or forth one, I lost interest. I was hoping for more autobiography, less food network, I guess. I can respect that he wants to bring attention to the little guys in the candy world, but writing an entire book that focuses on candy factories starts to become a bit redundant. Towards the end, Almond describes what his intention for the book was when he writes, 'I told him it was about candy bars. But I didn't know if I could explain what I was really getting at: that candy had been my only dependable succor as a child, that it had, in a sense, saved my life, that I hoped to draw a link between my personal nostalgia and the cultural yearning for a simpler age, but that, in the end, the laws of the candy world were the laws of the broader world: the strong survived, the weak struggled, people sought pleasure to endure pain.' He succeeded in sharing these points, however, we are left with rather a bleak conclusion. Furthermore, he simply rambled on too long. This book could have been about 150 pages shorter and the message would have been more effective.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    It could have been fun

    It could have been fun except for steadily increasing whining throughout the booku

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Decent book lost focus

    I started out enjoying this book. The wandering musings and nostalgia of old candy bars was enjoyable, as was the writing style. I endured the profanity throughout with trepidation, but was thoroughly turned off at the book's end by references to drugs, political ideologies, and most bothersome, numerous sexual innuendoes. All-in-all, the book had potential, then bombed out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2010


    "This book is just like eating a bunch of candy! You will enjoy it in the beginning but later on you crash. The book gets less interesting in the end. However, it will make you enjoy candy much more every time you take a bite out of a piece. You will make any candy you have very valuable. In fact, you might start eating a piece of candy everyday, just like Steve Almond."

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Great book for the candy lovers out there

    This book was written by a true "candy freak" and, after reading this book, I found that I, too, am a "candy freak". The author's love for old time candy/chocolates brought him to factories all over the country to find out how they made his favorite candies. It was a very funny book and it would be loved by anyone, but I think anyone raised in the 50s or 60s would especially love it. I now find myself looking at every candy counter I see in order to find some of the "hard to find" candy listed in this book. You will really enjoy reading this. I've read it 3 times and have given it as a gift also.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2005

    Freakishly fun

    On the surface, Candyfreak is about one man¿s journey to write about, well, candy. However, it only takes you a couple of pages to realize the book is much more. It¿s about one man¿s childhood and psychology. It¿s about reconnecting with things that are important to you. And yes, it is about candy. I told my friend that reading this book is a cross between reading a psychology case study and watching Unwrapped on the Food Network I am sore pressed to come up with a better description than that. Almond is gracious enough to take us along on his quest to reconnect to the small candy makers that are often overlooked by the mass markets. He touches on the nostalgic sweets we remember from our childhoods, and often find hard to get anymore. However, he helps us in an ingenious way. Just when he¿s describing biting into some heavenly candy bar and you think you¿re going to go insane with hunger, turn to the back of the book because he provides websites so you can get your hard to find sweets online. I tried the links and they all worked at the time of this review. This book changes the way you look at candy, to me in a positive way. It also launched me on my own micro quest to reconnect with some of the sweets I remembered from my childhood. Over all, this book is TOO much fun and I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2005


    Heavily dissapointed in Mr.Almond's story-telling abilities. Being a creative writing proffessor, one should expect more out of Mr.Almond. A lack luster tale about one man's self-pity and constant need for reassurnace by eating candies. Almost as exciting as a Pet Rock...almost.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2005

    Willy Wonka Watch Out

    Mr. Almond (so appropriately named) provides the great American travelogue, rummaging through a traditionally family-run, secretive industry to find the treats of his youth. Almond has a few Wonka-esque experiences which even Roald Dahl would find challenging. Yet, he ultimately finds what he is looking for, which is not only the sweet tooth he left behind under his childhood pillow but the adventure of discovery. What he does to find his favorite brands is a hoot, because he has to lift up the veil of secrecy and peek between the curtains. A very short read - but a very good read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2004


    How can you not like a guy who admits he has to have a piece of candy every day, keeps several pounds of the sugary stuff in his house at all times, and thinks about a sweet every hour? You can't. Many of us may think there but for the grace of God go I. Just as you'll have a fondness for author Almond (could there be a more appropriate name?) you'll also enjoy the reading by Oliver Wyman who by turns voices whimsy, amazement, and incredulity. For a fellow who like candy as much as Mr. Almond the disappearance of some of his childhood favorites might be tantamount to an art collector losing a Van Gogh. Well, maybe not quite but close. He remembered his adored Choco-Lite, the irresistible Caravelle bar, and others. He wondered what could have happened to them, and so his quest began. He visited candy factories throughout the United States, plying candy makers with questions. Much of what he learned was not too sweet - competition, secret recipes, and pr maneuvering. Grab yourself a chocolate bar, give a listen, and enjoy. - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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