Candy Everybody Wants

( 12 )

Overview

From the critically acclaimed author of I Am Not Myself These Days comes the very odd adventures of a starry-eyed young man from the Midwest seeking fame and fortune in the flamboyant surreality of New York, Los Angeles . . . and everywhere in between.

Jayson Blocher is tired of worshiping pop culture; he wants to be part of it. So he's off, accompanied by an ever-changing cast of quirky extended family members, on an extremely bumpy journey from rural Wisconsin to a New York ...

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Candy Everybody Wants

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Overview

From the critically acclaimed author of I Am Not Myself These Days comes the very odd adventures of a starry-eyed young man from the Midwest seeking fame and fortune in the flamboyant surreality of New York, Los Angeles . . . and everywhere in between.

Jayson Blocher is tired of worshiping pop culture; he wants to be part of it. So he's off, accompanied by an ever-changing cast of quirky extended family members, on an extremely bumpy journey from rural Wisconsin to a New York escort agency for Broadway chorus boys, to a Hollywood sitcom set. Somewhere out there his destiny awaits—along with the discovery of first love, some unusual coincidences, a kidnapping mystery . . . and the sobering truth that being America's sweetheart can leave a very sour aftertaste.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Memoirist Kilmer-Purcell (I Am Not Myself These Days) tells the sad tale of wannabe TV star Jayson Blocher, a suburban high school student in the 1980s Midwest. After writing and starring in his home-shot, gay coming-of-age soap, Dallasty!Jayson sets his sights on Hollywood. A rogue Dallasty!screening sets off pandemonium, so Jayson's alcoholic mother sends Jayson to his father, which leads to a seamy romp through the gay semicelebrity scene of New York and L.A as AIDS emerges. And when Jayson actually does get his big Hollywood break, it is no surprise that his connection to his mother deteriorates further. Kilmer-Purcell certainly has interesting and tough-minded things to say about being young, gay and celebrity-obsessed in the 1980s, but the characters aren't strong enough to withstand the rollicking plot. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
A debut novel by memoirist Kilmer-Purcell (I Am Not Myself These Days, 2006) that follows the adventures of a gay Midwestern, TV-obsessed teenager. Jayson Blocher has always dreamed of escaping his tiny town of Oconomowoc, Wis., to make it big as a celebrity. But for a time it looks like his story's climax is going to be tricking his neighbor Trey into kissing him. That is until Jayson's erratic mother Toni gets stuck in a long-brewing financial and parenting crisis. Toni ships her son off in the middle of the night on a plane to New York to meet the aging movie star Oscard Harlande (Harley), whom she reveals, on the way to the airport, is Jayson's father. Within the space of a few chapters, Jayson moves into the house from which his father is running a male prostitution ring, falls in love with his childhood TV crush, Devlin Williamson, and becomes a small-time celebrity after cruising into the starring role in a commercial for after-dinner mints. But there's more. Jayson and Devlin become homeless when the prostitution ring is busted and Harley disappears with Jayson's money, and the two move into the abandoned building in SoHo that Toni's new lesbian lover's drug addict brother calls home. By the time the whole Oconomowoc crew shows up in SoHo, with Jayson's pregnant friend Tara and his special-needs brother Willie in tow, the novel starts moving into the Spectrum of the Ridiculous. But before this story can end, Jayson has to rush (or, at this point, stagger) back to Oconomowoc to rescue Trey from the perverse social-services cop who has locked him in his basement. A tale compromised by bizarre plot turns and an unsatisfying ending. Agent: Andy McNicol/William Morris Agency
Myspace.com
“A genuine comic novel filled with big laughs, Candy Everybody Wants is entertainingly out-of-left-field yet remains rooted in reality. With his second book, Kilmer-Purcell has avoided the dreaded sophomore slump. We can’t wait to see what he’ll come up with next.”
Armistead Maupin
“A balls-out joyride through eighties pop culture that enlightens as much as it exhilarates. As always, Kilmer-Purcell’s astringent wit is nicely tempered by his obvious sympathy for human frailty.”
James Frey
“Josh Kilmer-Purcell is funny funny funny, one of the funniest young writers in America. In Candy Everybody Wants, he trains his insightfully sardonic eye on the world of 80’s pop culture, showing the roots that made us a nation of Britneys, American Idols, and Obamamaniacs.”
Doctor - Drew Pinsky
"Josh Kilmer-Purcell has created rich and memorable characters that emerge from the tumultuous landscape of the 1970’s. Jayson Blocher is the Holden Caufield for a new generation who is thrust in to a Little Miss Sunshine family in the early 1980’s."
Dr. Drew Pinsky
“Josh Kilmer-Purcell has created rich and memorable characters that emerge from the tumultuous landscape of the 1970’s. Jayson Blocher is the Holden Caufield for a new generation who is thrust in to a Little Miss Sunshine family in the early 1980’s.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615604951
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/13/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Josh Kilmer-Purcell is the bestselling author of the memoir I Am Not Myself These Days and the novel Candy Everybody Wants, and the star of Planet Green's documentary television series The Fabulous Beekman Boys. He and his partner, Brent Ridge, divide their time between Manhattan and the Beekman Farm.

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Read an Excerpt

Candy Everybody Wants

Chapter One

Dallasty! Oconomowoc Landing.
A Jayson Blocher Production
Directed by Jayson Blocher
Written by Jayson Blocher
Casting by Jayson Blocher
Costumes and Makeup by Jayson Blocher

Episode III: Cornfields Ablaze!!!
Scene 18

Open on Patricia Ewing, and Amethyst Carrington sunbathing on floating diving platform in skimpy string bikinis. Patricia Ewing looks totally sexy wearing a swirly Pucci suit, and Amethyst Carrington also looks hot in a Lily Pulitzer extravaganza. J. B. Ewing paddles up in the convertible Ewing-Carrington pedal boat.

Patricia Ewing: (sarcastic) Well hello there J.B., you jerkface. Welcome home from work.

Amethyst Carrington: He is not a Jerkface at all, Patrica! He is the father of our child! Who will one day inherit control of all of the Ewing-Carrington farmland!

J.B.: (setting drink on dock and climbing out of pedal boat) For your information, All of the Ewing-Carrington cornfields have been set ablaze!

Amethyst Carrington: No!

J.B.: Yes!

Amethyst Carrington: No!

J.B.: Yes they have!

Patricia: I hope my husband Robbie is out there saving the day.

J.B.: Why would he be? Your loser husband, who is my loser brother, was the one that set them on fire!

Patricia: (standing up and poking her finger into J.B.'s tan chest) I have had quite enough of your lies, J. B. Ewing!

J.B. Well then maybe you should take a break . . . in the lake! (J.B. pushes Tara Patricia off the dock into the lake.)

Amethyst Carrington: Sayonara, bitch!

J.B. wraps his strong arms around Amethyst Carrington and pulls him her against his hairy chest.

J.B.: I have wanted to do this ever since we got our last divorce.

J.B. Kisses Amethyst Carrington.

* Scene *

"Do we have to kiss all the way?" Trey asked Jayson, dangling his legs in the unseasonably cool lake while reading over Jayson's script. The float diving dock bobbed lazily with each kick of Trey's legs.

Jayson pulled at the top half of his mother's Pucci knockoff bathing suit. Up until an hour ago it'd been a one-piece, but he'd had to cut it into two pieces in order to transform it into the "revealing string bikini" called for in the script that he wrote earlier that afternoon.

His left water balloon tit had sprung a slow leak.

There was no time to waste on script revisions. They needed to begin shooting the scene now. The sun was going down and his boob was deflating at an alarming pace.

Jayson didn't feel up to an extended debate with Trey on the mechanics of the scene. It had been a long shoot day, and he was getting tired. And mosquito-bitten. But he also didn't want to risk pissing Trey off. With only himself and his neighbors—the twins Trey and Tara—playing all the roles, cast morale was of utmost importance.

Trey was always, historically, exceedingly patient with Jayson's summer vacation "projects," but Dallasty!, was by far Jayson's biggest and most complicated effort to date. A spin-off series that combined the families of the two mosthighly rated nighttime television dramas ever—Dallas and Dynasty. The networks loved spin-offs. And this was a spin-off squared. He and the twins had already filmed twelve of the thirteen episodes Jayson planned on sending "on spec" to Lorimar Pictures c/o CBS Entertainment Networks. The scene they were about to film was the opening of the cliffhanger final episode of the season. If they could wrap up filming the entire episode this week, he could mail them all off to Lorimar, sign whatever contracts they came back with, and have Dallasty! on air as a mid-season replacement. If all went as planned, Jayson would begin his first year of high school as a celebrity—thus breaking the inexplicable curse of unpopularity he'd endured throughout middle school.

"Let's discuss this important scene," Jayson began calmly, putting his hand on Trey's shoulder. The most important job of a director (according to what he'd read in a People Magazine profile of Steven Spielberg) was to keep the "talent" relaxed and focused on their performance. "We've established that it's a very dramatic moment with the cornfield a-blazing out at the ranch," Jayson explained gesturing across the water toward his fictional Ewing-Carrington Dairy Farm. "And all great TV shows mix romance with drama—Rockford Files. As the World Turns. The A-Team."

Trey was silent.

"Maybe I could just hug you instead," Trey asked.

Jayson set his jaw, stiffening his resolve to keep calm.

"This isn't a kids show we're making," Jayson said through clenched teeth. He'd already been forced to rewrite the ending of the previousepisode when Tara refused to ignite the gasoline that had been poured all over the pedal boat. It had been a long summer's work. The cast was getting short tempered.

"How about if Willie shoots it from behind so it looks like we're kissing, but you can't tell?" Trey asked, grasping at straws.

"Willie simply doesn't have the cinematographical expertise to film such a complicated shot," Jayson explained. This was true. Willie, Jayson's younger brother by two years, was retarded. And not "retarded" in the eighth grade name-calling way. He was retarded retarded. Willie had Prader-Willi syndrome. Which meant that he was born with a defect in the hypothalamus part of his brain which resulted in a chronic feeling of being hungry. Starving, actually. Twenty-four hours a day. Willie's ceaseless grazing, coupled with cognitive retardation and low overall muscle tone, gave Willie an appearance that many people confused with Down syndrome.

Willie's Prader-Willi diagnosis wasn't confirmed until a year after his birth. Their mother briefly considered changing William's name to something slightly less similar to the name of his affliction, but in the end decided that it was charming in an odd way. "My name is Willie Prader and I have a problem with the hippopotamus in my head!!!" Willie had a habit of shouting this at complete strangers in the supermarket. "Don't we all?" Jayson's mom would shrug before taking advantage of the resulting confusion to cut to the front of the checkout line.

Candy Everybody Wants. Copyright ? by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Availablenow wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Candy Everybody Wants

Chapter One

Dallasty! Oconomowoc Landing.
A Jayson Blocher Production
Directed by Jayson Blocher
Written by Jayson Blocher
Casting by Jayson Blocher
Costumes and Makeup by Jayson Blocher

Episode III: Cornfields Ablaze!!!
Scene 18

Open on Patricia Ewing, and Amethyst Carrington sunbathing on floating diving platform in skimpy string bikinis. Patricia Ewing looks totally sexy wearing a swirly Pucci suit, and Amethyst Carrington also looks hot in a Lily Pulitzer extravaganza. J. B. Ewing paddles up in the convertible Ewing-Carrington pedal boat.

Patricia Ewing: (sarcastic) Well hello there J.B., you jerkface. Welcome home from work.

Amethyst Carrington: He is not a Jerkface at all, Patrica! He is the father of our child! Who will one day inherit control of all of the Ewing-Carrington farmland!

J.B.: (setting drink on dock and climbing out of pedal boat) For your information, All of the Ewing-Carrington cornfields have been set ablaze!

Amethyst Carrington: No!

J.B.: Yes!

Amethyst Carrington: No!

J.B.: Yes they have!

Patricia: I hope my husband Robbie is out there saving the day.

J.B.: Why would he be? Your loser husband, who is my loser brother, was the one that set them on fire!

Patricia: (standing up and poking her finger into J.B.'s tan chest) I have had quite enough of your lies, J. B. Ewing!

J.B. Well then maybe you should take a break . . . in the lake! (J.B. pushes Tara Patricia off the dock into the lake.)

Amethyst Carrington: Sayonara, bitch!

J.B. wraps his strong arms around Amethyst Carrington and pulls him her against his hairy chest.

J.B.: I have wanted to do this ever since we got our last divorce.

J.B. Kisses Amethyst Carrington.

* Scene *

"Do we have to kiss all the way?" Trey asked Jayson, dangling his legs in the unseasonably cool lake while reading over Jayson's script. The float diving dock bobbed lazily with each kick of Trey's legs.

Jayson pulled at the top half of his mother's Pucci knockoff bathing suit. Up until an hour ago it'd been a one-piece, but he'd had to cut it into two pieces in order to transform it into the "revealing string bikini" called for in the script that he wrote earlier that afternoon.

His left water balloon tit had sprung a slow leak.

There was no time to waste on script revisions. They needed to begin shooting the scene now. The sun was going down and his boob was deflating at an alarming pace.

Jayson didn't feel up to an extended debate with Trey on the mechanics of the scene. It had been a long shoot day, and he was getting tired. And mosquito-bitten. But he also didn't want to risk pissing Trey off. With only himself and his neighbors—the twins Trey and Tara—playing all the roles, cast morale was of utmost importance.

Trey was always, historically, exceedingly patient with Jayson's summer vacation "projects," but Dallasty!, was by far Jayson's biggest and most complicated effort to date. A spin-off series that combined the families of the two most highly rated nighttime television dramas ever—Dallas and Dynasty. The networks loved spin-offs. And this was a spin-off squared. He and the twins had already filmed twelve of the thirteen episodes Jayson planned on sending "on spec" to Lorimar Pictures c/o CBS Entertainment Networks. The scene they were about to film was the opening of the cliffhanger final episode of the season. If they could wrap up filming the entire episode this week, he could mail them all off to Lorimar, sign whatever contracts they came back with, and have Dallasty! on air as a mid-season replacement. If all went as planned, Jayson would begin his first year of high school as a celebrity—thus breaking the inexplicable curse of unpopularity he'd endured throughout middle school.

"Let's discuss this important scene," Jayson began calmly, putting his hand on Trey's shoulder. The most important job of a director (according to what he'd read in a People Magazine profile of Steven Spielberg) was to keep the "talent" relaxed and focused on their performance. "We've established that it's a very dramatic moment with the cornfield a-blazing out at the ranch," Jayson explained gesturing across the water toward his fictional Ewing-Carrington Dairy Farm. "And all great TV shows mix romance with drama—Rockford Files. As the World Turns. The A-Team."

Trey was silent.

"Maybe I could just hug you instead," Trey asked.

Jayson set his jaw, stiffening his resolve to keep calm.

"This isn't a kids show we're making," Jayson said through clenched teeth. He'd already been forced to rewrite the ending of the previous episode when Tara refused to ignite the gasoline that had been poured all over the pedal boat. It had been a long summer's work. The cast was getting short tempered.

"How about if Willie shoots it from behind so it looks like we're kissing, but you can't tell?" Trey asked, grasping at straws.

"Willie simply doesn't have the cinematographical expertise to film such a complicated shot," Jayson explained. This was true. Willie, Jayson's younger brother by two years, was retarded. And not "retarded" in the eighth grade name-calling way. He was retarded retarded. Willie had Prader-Willi syndrome. Which meant that he was born with a defect in the hypothalamus part of his brain which resulted in a chronic feeling of being hungry. Starving, actually. Twenty-four hours a day. Willie's ceaseless grazing, coupled with cognitive retardation and low overall muscle tone, gave Willie an appearance that many people confused with Down syndrome.

Willie's Prader-Willi diagnosis wasn't confirmed until a year after his birth. Their mother briefly considered changing William's name to something slightly less similar to the name of his affliction, but in the end decided that it was charming in an odd way. "My name is Willie Prader and I have a problem with the hippopotamus in my head!!!" Willie had a habit of shouting this at complete strangers in the supermarket. "Don't we all?" Jayson's mom would shrug before taking advantage of the resulting confusion to cut to the front of the checkout line.

Candy Everybody Wants. Copyright © by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 14 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 21, 2011

    surprised!

    i was surprised such a short book could be so satisfying. it wasnt dull at all and is a great read for all lgbt people! rates up there with tales of the city

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    disappointing

    i really love IANMTD, but CANDY EVERYBODY WANTS is dull. the characters are unlikable and one dimensional. and the next person to compare jayson to holden caulfield is gonna get smacked.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 5, 2012

    Hysterical Read that brought back memories of when I was 20 something

    I have read 3 of Josh Kilmer Purcell's books and I have to say this one is my favorite. It brought me back to my youth of gallivanting in NYC in the late 90s and some parts of this book were just hysterical.

    If you are not into absurd escapades of a young drag queen in NY you might want to pass on this book - but if you enjoy light hearted fun give this book a read.

    At times I could not personally relate to Josh - the main character as some of his escapades were so outrageous which is what made this book so enjoyable - it was like reading a total work of fiction but I did relate to the NY nightlife and this book made me feel nostalgia for the clubs I used to go back when I was about that age.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2011

    a great second effort

    as fiction it works. jkp has an easy and accessible style

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 9, 2010

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