Candyfreak by Steve Almond

I like the subtitle of Steve Almond’s book: a journey through the chocolate underbelly of America. Even though Steve doesn’t like coconut, you can guess what his nickname was as a kid, which is clear in the name of his website: He would like readers to know a few important facts about himself, especially that he has “eaten a piece of candy every single day of his entire life.” He has a high metabolism and isn’t overweight, but spent much of the 1970s at the dentist having cavities filled. He thinks about candy a lot, and has an awesome stash of candy.

Steve wasn’t very happy as a boy or a teen, so he ate lots of candy. Halloween was definitely his favorite day of the year. A journalist looking for his next writing project, Steve wondered what happened to some of the candy bars he enjoyed as a kid that were no longer available. He explores the twentieth century history of candy in America by visiting several family owned candy factories, and meeting other candyfreaks like himself. His writing is both funny and sad, and most of all delicious. His descriptions of how candy is made and how he would go into a trance watching it are well worth reading, especially if you remember spending your allowance on candy and comics. Readers of Candyfreak will be happy to know that since the book was published in 2004, Steve has gotten married and now has two young children. He’s still writing, and undoubtedly, still eating lots of candy.


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