Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

Front Cover
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004 - Technology & Engineering - 266 pages
333 Reviews
Perhaps you remember the whipped splendor of the Choco-Lite, or the luscious Caravelle bar, or maybe the sublime and perfectly balanced Hershey's Cookies 'n Mint. The Marathon, an inimitable rope of caramel covered in chocolate. Oompahs. Bit-O-Choc. The Kit Kat Dark.

Steve Almond certainly does. In fact, he was so obsessed by the inexplicable disappearance of these bars—where'd they go?—that he embarked on a nationwide journey to uncover the truth about the candy business. There, he found an industry ruled by huge conglomerates, where the little guys, the last remaining link to the glorious boom years of the candy bar in America, struggle to survive.

Visiting the candy factories that produce the Twin Bing, the Idaho Spud, the Goo Goo Cluster, the Valomilk, and a dozen other quirky bars, Almond finds that the world of candy is no longer a sweet haven. Today's precious few regional candy makers mount daily battles against corporate greed, paranoia, and that good old American compulsion: crushing the little guy.

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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

I loved, loved, loved the writing style. - Goodreads
My blood sugar was spiking after the intro. - Goodreads
Humorous and educational. - Goodreads
Great read, talented writer, good for a few laughs! - Goodreads
There were some fascinating facts and insights. - Goodreads
A huge inspiration for my own candy writing. - Goodreads

Review: Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

User Review  - Beth - Goodreads

In the first few chapters of Candyfreak, Steve Almond had me laughing and loving his vocabulary. The second half of the book didn't captivate me quite so much, but I hung in for the finish. I listened ... Read full review

Review: Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

User Review  - Molly Helm - Goodreads

I listened to this fascinating Candy adventure. As a fellow child of the 80's, I fondly remembered many of his cultural and candy references. If you love chocolate, manufacturing, or something ... Read full review


The Author Will Now Rationalize
Chocolate Enabler

28 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Steve Almond teaches creative writing at Boston College.

Bibliographic information