➽ [Reading] ➿ Candy By Luke Davies ➲ – Candy is beside me, drenched in sweat She's breathing gently, long slow breaths I imagine her soul going in and out: wanting to leave, wanting to come back, wanting to leave, wanting to come back The Candy is beside me, drenched in sweat She's breathing gently, long slow breaths I imagine her soul going in and out: wanting to leave, wanting to come back, wanting to leave, wanting to come back The day will soon harden into what we need to do But for now we have each other He met Candy amid a lush Sydney summer Gorgeous, sexy, freespirited Candy They fell in love fast, lots of laughter and lust, the days melting warmly into each other He never planned to give her a habit But she wanted a taste And wasn't love, after all, about sharing lives? Candy had a bit of money and in the beginning, everything was beautiful Heady, heroinhazed days, the world open and inviting But when the money ran out, the craving remained, and the days ceased their luxurious stretchBut there was still love Only now, it was a threesome Heroin had its own demands, its own timetable, and thoughts of nabbing the next fix hurled them into each day Then, when desperation sets in, Candy will stop at nothing to secure a blast, as she and her lover become hostage to the nightmarish world of addiction Painful, sexy, tender, and charged with dark humor, Candy provocatively charts the daily rituals of two lovers maintaining a longterm junk habit Told in stunningly vivid prose and set against the backdrop of suburban and urban Australia, Candy is both an electrifying and frightening glimpse of contemporary life and love.Candy

Davies has published five books of poetry, including Running With Light, which was the winner of the Judith Wright Poetry Prize , and Totem, which won the Age Book of the Year Award He was also awarded the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal for Poetry in He has completed several residencies around the world, including at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre for the Arts, Ireland, The Australia Centre, Chiang Mai, Thailand, the Centre d'Art.

Paperback  ì Candy eBook ò
    If you re looking for a CBR and CBZ reader love Only now, it was a threesome Heroin had its own demands, its own timetable, and thoughts of nabbing the next fix hurled them into each day Then, when desperation sets in, Candy will stop at nothing to secure a blast, as she and her lover become hostage to the nightmarish world of addiction Painful, sexy, tender, and charged with dark humor, Candy provocatively charts the daily rituals of two lovers maintaining a longterm junk habit Told in stunningly vivid prose and set against the backdrop of suburban and urban Australia, Candy is both an electrifying and frightening glimpse of contemporary life and love."/>
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • Candy
  • Luke Davies
  • English
  • 06 October 2019
  • 9780345423870

10 thoughts on “Candy

  1. says:

    Opening Line: There were good times and bad times, but in the beginning there were more good times.

    Wow this was fantastic, in a watching a beautiful car crash sort of way. Following the day to day struggles, triumphs and ultimate decay of a heroin addict and his girlfriend. It was almost impossible to look away and put this book down even though it’s graphic, horrible, depressing and often pointless. Told in the first person with vividly poetic and just plain amazing writing there’s a surprisingly innocent love story told here as well and I found myself moved by their story. Pulling for our couple and hoping that they could just get clean long enough to come out on the other side of addiction with some kind of future together.

    CANDY is a love story, a horror story, and an adventure. It’s darkly humorous and sadly moving. Filled with graphic descriptions of heroin use, vein hunting, needles, sickness, numbness, the endless cycle of finding your next fix, the selling of ones soul and the constant pain. I was exhausted just reading about the kind of stamina it takes to become a full blown junkie.

    The scheming and scoring and stealing, the planning and begging and the sickness when you’ve either exhausted all options or you’re trying yet again to get clean (or maybe just not use quite so much) I could feel their pain and hopelessness in particular the mind numbing details as they lock themselves in their rundown apartment and attempt to kick on their own, this is what happens to you physically when you try to come off of a serious heroin addiction and it was tough to witness.

    We follow our couple over a ten year period starting in Sydney during their heady early days of first love. Its summer and the world is beautiful and new. Candy, a gorgeous aspiring actress wants to learn everything about her new love, including what its like to use heroin and despite an almost immediate overdose the wheels are set in motion, she wants more.

    Through our narrators eyes we watch Candy go from aspiring actress to high paid escort to street hooker. It’s an easy natural progression that somehow seems to make sense for both of them. He remains a con, a thief and a dealer. They often talk of getting clean, having a baby. They move to Melbourne to start again, they relapse; they get married and are the coolest couple in McDonalds dressed in their wedding attire, wasted after using their wedding money to score. There are serious highs and desperate lows. From high-end apartments to slums, hepatitis and crabs, bad scams, arrests and the loss of their baby. Throughout it all they remain in desperate love with each other and heroin.

    This did not end at all like I was expecting and was in fact sadder then I had thought possible. It’s haunting when everything turns blue and all that’s left is methadone, madness, loneliness, a job washing dishes and playing Frisbee in the sun.

  2. says:

    4.5 stars

    I remember when the film Candy was released in 2006, receiving critical acclaim and rave reviews for the performances of the late, great Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish in the leading roles. Despite my interest, for some reason I never got around to seeing it. And it wasn’t until recently reading my friend Buggy’s review here on GoodReads that I discovered the film was an adaptation of a novel.

    My interest once again piqued, I promptly obtained both the book and the film, then did something I would never normally recommend, and watched the film first – instant gratification and all that. I wasn’t disappointed. The performances were wonderful and the story was compelling in its tragedy. But at the end, I did pause to wonder whether I might have ruined the experience of the novel. I needn’t have worried.

    The film and the novel are significantly different. While there are a couple of shared scenes, there is obviously much missing from the film and it has taken quite a significant creative/poetic license and made some major changes in the storyline. It also has a very different feel about it than the novel. In fact, in many regards I am glad I watched the film first. There was no opportunity for me to have had expectations unmet, and so there was no disappointment. I enjoyed them both as two separate entities.

    But, this is a book review site, so I will leave further commentary regarding the film for another time and place. Apart from the differences in plot and vibe, the biggest surprise for me with the book is how beautifully it was written:

    It’s like there’s a mystical connection between heroine and bad luck, with some kind of built-in momentum factor. It’s like you’re cruising along in a beautiful car on a pleasant country road with the breeze in your hair and the smell of eucalypts all around you. The horizon is always up ahead, unfolding towards you, and at first you don’t notice the gradual descent, or the way the atmosphere thickens. Bit by bit the gradient gets steeper, and before you realise you have no brakes, you’re going pretty fucking fast.

    So what did we do, once the descent began? We learned how to drive well, under hazardous conditions. We had each other to egg each other on. There was neither room nor need for passengers. Maybe we were also thinking that one day our car would sprout wings and fly. I saw that happen in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It’s good to live in hope.

    There was a time, after that Indian summer of our falling in love – after we’d gone through the money Candy’s grandmother had left her, after we’d done a few scams and had a pretty good run for six months or a year – when we knew it would be good to slow down or stop and see where we were. It’s funny how difficult that would turn out to be. It would be almost a decade before the car finally came to a silent stop on an empty stretch of road a long way down from where we’d started. Almost a decade before we’d hear the clicking of metal under the bonnet and the buzzing of cicadas in the trees all around us.

    It’s really quite compelling to read such an ugly topic described in such beautiful prose. In no way does the author glamorise the tragedy of addiction – quite the opposite – but the writing makes the experience tolerable and by turns darkly funny and achingly poignant.

    Candy reads like an autobiography, penned by an unnamed narrator, who could be any lost soul on any street corner in the world. The author takes us into the heart and mind of an addict, and exposes in raw, gritty detail the futility, waste and despair. This does not feel like a fictional account, it is far too vividly and emotionally detailed. Their journey is harrowing, confronting and just so damn tragic that it is disturbing to read.

    It's a powerful novel that can make you reconsider your views and perceptions. Candy is such a novel, and I imagine it will continue to invade my thoughts for some time to come.

    Thank you, Buggy, for inspiring me to read this one.

  3. says:

    A well written book that reminded me that tragedy happens slowly. It is full of drugs, sex, and mishap. It shows that sometimes the glue that holds relationships together can be the worst for us.

    I picked this list because I had a book already on it, which is this book, and I saw a lot of others on it that I wish to read in the future. The downside, and possibly an upside, is that the list keeps getting longer every time I look at it. It'll be great to eventually read a lot of these books but it may be a list that I'll never finish. However, I hope to add more of the books to my read tag soon.

    First book read in order to complete list:

  4. says:

    3- Candy is the bleak love story of two heroin addicts as they ebb and flow through life together across Australia. It is an intriguing slow burn, and although I stayed interested in the story the whole time, I didn't feel like it was pieced together well enough to deserve more than 3 stars. I felt that the ending, in particular, was shoddy. This was the first book I read about addiction and I definitely believe it satiated my interest for now.

  5. says:

    I don't know how you could write a book about heroine unless you lived it. I waited till I was finished to find out and always try to do that when a question concerning the authors life comes up while reading. This book takes on a long time period and I felt as though I was trying to drop heroine the whole time. My favorite quote was something that he said about football. I can't find it now because I left the book in a hut in Alaska, but it summed up the felling of caring about sports on TV.

  6. says:

    Read it within 12 hours, I just could not put it down. Absolutely tragic read, but incredibly beautiful. You can't help but sympathize with the characters, wanting them to succeed, to move past their addiction and live the dreams they keep insisting will come tomorrow, the next week, within the next few months, if only they can kick the habit. You want to believe in them, you really do...

  7. says:

    by Luke Davies

    I've came to the conclusion if you are new in recovery from any sort of substance abuse this is definitely NOT the book to read for inspiration. In fact, in the beginning of the book, the first few chapters are what we addicts call the “Glory Days!” When drugs were fun, made everything okay, made life feel wonderful, new, exciting, peaceful. When everything from our past that hurt us could be covered up and ignored, as if it never happened. We felt joy in the company of our new using friends. I related so much in the beginning I started to fantasize about my “Glory Days”. This book was indisputably written by an author that had either been through heroin addiction or had someone close to him give every seemingly insignificant detail of what it was like, for the book portrayed, without exaggeration, the exact life of a junkie from the beginning of the book till the end. It was written painfully beautiful, executing the deepest vileness and gruesome misery that come with such a life style. The ways of finding means and ways to get more was perfectly illustrated, as well as, the extent one has to go through to not feel like they are dying from awfulness of withdrawal. The details that were formulated, extraordinarily, could easily bring haunting memories to a recovering addict. It’s amazing how an addict mind works, for even though we know to use again would mean hideous, gruesomeness for our life, our mind still misses the instant gratification that comes with the first warm, comforting, everything in life is okay again fix, and forget the misery that is bound to follow or how difficult it was to get clean in the first place once the vicious cycle has began again. I found myself jealous of the characters in the book, wanting to be there with them in my imagination, using again; THAT IS NOT GOOD FOR SOMEONE IN RECOVERY! The book is so well written it kept me intrigued ostensibly giving me no option but to keep on reading although I knew it wasn’t good for me. I read the book quickly in two sitting because I had to get to the end. I had to remember the terror of addiction and what happens so the fantasy would go away. Addicts are drawn to drama, chaos, and misery, due to the fact, for most of us, it’s the only life we knew or how to cope having started using at such an early age. Clean and sober is an abnormal state for an alcoholic or addict. When not using we feel overwhelming fear, indecisiveness, not knowing what to do or how to act; a foreign land. The ending was exactly as I knew it would be for I had lived this book. Thank you Universe for freedom from this disease, this soul diminishing affliction. If you are not an addict/alcoholic, mostly addict though, I challenge you to read this book! Society views junkies as pathetic, worthless creatures, which have no morals, boundaries, or will power. Which is the farthest, the most ignorant falsehood. It makes me sad, irritated, enraged and sometimes simply laugh when I hear people who have never lived the horrors of addiction portray their thoughts of people who have been there. If you have these thoughts or ideas, read this book, and learn what mental illness means, what addiction and alcoholism truly are scientifically, so you don’t sound so uneducated and silly when talking to someone who knows. I have no doubts after you do these things you will look at a junkie just as you would a person dying from cancer. They are both chronic, progressive, illnesses that are out to destroy, take everything you love and cherish, and ultimately take your life.

  8. says:

    I have plenty of friends who I could never convince that reading a miserable book is enjoyable. However, I think that miserable books offer the chance to feel strong empathy, served up alongside pity and schadenfreude. It’s the book equivalent of sitting inside on a rainy day and watching through your window as people outside get soaked to the skin.

    Candy, a gruelling ride through heroin addiction, has nary a light-hearted moment to be found. Even the very first chapter, where the narrator reminisces about happy times with his girlfriend, Candy, includes a terrifying, near-deadly overdose. And yet, while depressing, it’s also a pretty good read.

    It’s structured as a series of vignettes/short stories, keeping loose the overall narrative of sinking deep into heroin addiction and then trying to climb out. It’s not a page-turner by any stretch of the imagination, but it is compelling. Inevitably, some chapters are better than others: Candy is best at its quirkiest, such as when the drug-addled characters decide to breed their own master race of cats.

    Some of the novel’s more frustrating aspects are inherent: since drug addiction sucks the humanity out of you, the characters – including beautiful, personality-free Candy – are mere cardboard cut-outs. It’s difficult to care about such 2-dimensional characters. Similarly, Luke Davies’ prose is occasionally beautiful, but he describes such mundane hellishness that there’s no real showcase for his talent.

    If you’re up for a harrowing read about addiction, you could do worse than to read Candy. If you like your books a little less gritty, I assume you’ve stopped reading this review already.

    P.S. For the record, my favourite book about heroin addiction is Melvin Burgess’s Junk (also published as Smack), which is well-plotted with great characterization.

  9. says:

    My life only a few years ago, thank god I've been clean for almost 5 years now.

  10. says:

    When I pick up any book for the first time, I always open it to a random point in the middle and begin reading. I've done this for years, and it's always served as an accurate gauge to the level of writing the author is demonstrating. For the most part, every book is designed to begin with what's called a hook, which is why most authors will always tell you in their workshops and seminars, Always begin with action. The idea, if it's not obvious, is to suck the reader in to the point of purchase.

    Regarding Candy, I did not have this option. The first 13 pages were missing, and then another 40 or so subsequent pages, randomly torn out by the last reader. The eventual pitfall of purchasing books on Amazon, I'm afraid, and so Davies' writing was put to the random entry point test in every instance of another four or five or six missing pages. There's no complex way of saying this: Davies can write his a$$ off, and he will suck you in even under the less than ideal circumstances of omitted pages and fragmentation.

    Candy is exactly what it says it is on the cover: a story of love and addiction. Naturally, one's mind jumps to the other two big junk novels in natural comparison, Requiem for a Dream and Trainspotting, but where Selby Jr. makes the reader crawl through his poor formatting choices and Welsh culture shocks our eyes and minds with Gaelic, it's Davies that gives us the most accessible text with his smooth and dreamy prosaic style, submerging the reader in warm pools of joy and harsh junkie sickness.

    Out of the three, Requiem still reigns king, but only in regards to its film adaptation.

    Davies' Candy accurately conveys the junkie lifestyle, its swelling highs and desperate lows more poignantly than I've ever had the pleasure of reading. This is a story of perceived love, but mainly it is a struggle between two people and their ability to connect when chemicals aren't involved. They scam and steal and sell themselves all in the name of love, but it's a love that steadily decays them with every injection. They are aware of the consequences, yet, continue to push the proverbial envelope in the name of devotion, a devotion not necessarily to each other.

    There is joy in this novel, hope that is both realized and unrealized, and by the end you've been run ragged by these experiences. Candy does everything a novel is supposed to, and by way of a the man-woman-junk dynamic, a few things I haven't seen before.

    Great read. Highly recommend.

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