Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

Front Cover
Algonquin Books, 2004 - Technology & Engineering - 266 pages
34 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Rosa.Mill - LibraryThing

This book was extremely interesting. Steve Almond basically visits several factories that are owned and run by regional candy makers. The descriptions of the candy's themselves and the people he meets ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - indygo88 - LibraryThing

This was a fun, lighthearted read written by a guy who is, yes, a candy freak. He grew up being obsessed with candy & apparently still is today. In it, he talks a little about his own history, as well ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Steve Almond teaches creative writing at Boston College.

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