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Candy (A Vintage original) [Paperback]

Luke Davies
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 April 1998 A Vintage original
A novel about heroin addiction. From the heady narcissism of the narrator's first days with his new lover, Candy, and the relative innocence of their shared addiction, this novel charts their moral decline. Candy becomes a prostitute and the narrator becomes a scam artist.

Product details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (2 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099268698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099268697
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 892,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Davies charts the steady draining of their lives as heroin grips their systems with engrossing conviction...very accomplished" (The Times)

"Addictive...hard to put down" (Kirkus) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING HEATH LEDGER --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously funny, profoundly sad drug-buzz-fugg 20 Sep 2001
Curious that a subject such as heroin addiction can be bum-clenchingly funny, but Luke Davies' observations of intelligent, 'nice' people choosing to enjoy an excess of trance-like states is often hilarious in a horrible kind of way.
This is an in-your-face, world of ritual, obsession, dishonesty, tenderness, and self-destruction disguised as hedonism.
The changeable moods of the book sometimes catch one unawares- from black-comic highs to rotten-visceral lows...
His observations about the central characters and their 'community' are so razor sharp they hurt.
Their rules and regulations may be as foreign to us as Martians'-but make an amazing kind of 'sense' .
Taught me more about drugs than I really need to know...but I think I should.
A fresh, fast, funky read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Luke Davies grabs you right from the start with his vivid and shockingly intimate style. He guides you expertly to the truth and allure behind the scenes of such a passionate addiction, tracing the rises and falls of an intensely primal lifestyle. Highly reccommended to anyone who enjoys 'in your face' narrative.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A constant source of pleasure 4 April 2006
This book is powerfully and elegantly written and draws you in from the first line, which I know off by heart: 'everything's f***ing beautiful!'. I've read this novel many times and I never tire of any of it: I can dive into it now and get pleasure from just reading a single chapter, like listening to a favourite song from a great album. I can remember much of it's imagery and wording: Davies is a poet, and this is poetic prose. I have never been addicted to heroin, but Candy works in any case, as a treatise on human selfishness and fallibility, written from the blinkered point of view of one who is selfish and fallible. At the same time as it is funny and tender, it is also grotesque (e.g. the chapter about crabs) wise and elegaic. Somebody once said that Trainspotting 'deserved to be bigger than the Bible'. This deserves to be bigger than both.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By ckc
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Candy is a fantastic novel. I quite literally wore out my original copy which is why I purchased this one as I wanted to read it again. When my copies arrived I was really dissapointed. The book had been drastically revamped. Chapter one (a critical chapter which explains why the narrator fell in love with Candy in the first place) is gone! Replaced by a meaningless prologue. As I read further I discovered that the dialogue had also been changed, the charming Australian colloquilisms had been rewritten eg "pretty quick smart" was replaced by "pretty damn quick", "dunny" was replaced by "toilet" etc. I guess this was done for a market who may be unfamiliar with Australian terms, but I thought this was really condescending and it really ruined the book. I wonder if the author is aware that this happened(?) Anyway, I sent the book back and amazon refunded my money. Obviously this is not amazon's fault but I would highly advise that anyone who wants to read this book should get hold of the original edition, which I believe is still in print and is well worth any additional effort to obtain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Luke Davies – Candy | Review 6 Feb 2014
You might have heard of this book before, without realising it - it was turned in to a film starring Heath Ledger, but while the film is merely good, the book is excellent. Davies is a fantastic writer, and he has the vibe of a man who writes because he can't help himself and not because he wants a pay cheque, fame or immortality.

Candy tells the story of a young couple who are deeply in love with both each other and with something far more sinister. At first, they enjoy their "heady, heroin-dazed days", when the world was "open and inviting". Then came the dark days, and boy, were they dark.

Davies has confirmed that the book is self-reflective and partly autobiographical, but it's a work of fiction rather than a memoir, even if there are a lot of similarities. The author himself was a heroin addict in the 1980s, and so he's writing from real experience. It's tragic, especially when you know that this sort of thing happens more often than you might think.

And that's just it - Candy is a wonderful piece of work because it captures human nature at its weakest, and you get a sense of overwhelming honesty despite it being a work of fiction. The film's pretty good as well, but as with most things you should read the book first, if possible. It's worth it, believe me.

One of the true signs of success here is the way in which Davies took a terrible period of his life and turned it in to something positive, a story that's somehow inspirational despite all of the darkness. Definitely one to read before you die.
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