Wednesday, 9 November 2016

What I've been reading: 
'Candy' by Luke Davies - book review


He met candy amid a lush Sydney summer. Gorgeous, sexy, free-spirited Candy. They fell in love fast, lots of laughter and lust, the days melting warmly into each other. He never planned to giver 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, heroin-hazed days, the world open and inviting. But when the money ran out, the craving remained, and the days ceased their luxurious stretch.

But 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 charger with dark humour, Candy provocatively charts the daily rituals of two lovers maintaining a long-term 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.


If you've read my '20 random facts about me' blog post, you'll see I stated this book as being my favourite book. I read this book a year or two ago, which is pretty heavy stuff for a 14/15 year old. However, I swear my dad purposely gave it to me to read, in order to put me off drugs forever, which I can tell you was much achieved and still retained until this day after reading this! But, my god it was an incredible read.

As you can tell from the synopsis, this book is all about a hauntingly beautiful, young couple who are madly in love with each other. So crazily in love with each other, you can physically feel the unbreakable connection they share. However their lives become consumed by heroin, the need for it and the devastating extent they'll go to in order to get it, placing a massively, ill-fated twist on everything.

For me and I'd guess many others, it's incredibly hard to comprehend the mindset of an addict, until you read this book and are transported into the mind of one. Davies' writing is faultless for being able to achieve this. To me it feels like he must have experienced, maybe not personally, but a heroin addiction, perhaps to a person close to him. In order for him to be able to evoke such an emotional, rollercoaster of a book. 

Personally, I'd say my favourite aspect of this book is the innocently, soul-mate-like couple you see at the beginning of the book and how that contrasts with the books ending on how they eventually end up. I don't want to give too much away, but the journey of the couples relationship is heart-wrenchingly, beautifully tragic.

Moreover, I found it fairly sobering that heroin was in no way prided in the book. Obviously, to the characters its the most glorious, essential thing in the world. However, the narrating character recognises the critical effects that will take hold if he continues his addiction. It almost relates to how when people are thirsty, we drink water. It's the urge of survival and I believe the characters feel this in the novel.

Ultimately, this book is about addiction. Although, its also about loss, love, desperation, lust, hope and then exhausting despair. The immense emotion and detail this book goes into about the chilling horror of having a heroin addiction is second to none. It's so captivating you feel as though you're the one experiencing the nightmare first hand. I honestly could not put this book down and have re-read it multiple times.

In all, this book is graphic and fairly blunt. It doesn't hold back. It describes the effects of heroin, how they got it, how their relationship changes due to heroin and so, so much more. I've never read anything remotely close to this book, which is just one reason why I love it so much. I would say this book isn't for the faint-hearted and is very much an emotional, heartbreaking, sobbing into the pages kind of book. However it is such an eye-opening, brilliant read that I'd completely recommend. 

Famous reviews:
  • "A tale of obsession, Candy offers a chilling glimpse into the nightmare world of heroin addiction." - ELLE, Australia 
  • "Beautifully written and tear-provokingly poignant... Davies' background as a poet - and the promise of hope - sustains the reader through a quagmire of collapsed veins and momentary bliss, vomit, bile, sweat, endless expletives, dizziness, nausea, scams and the overall sheer bloody exhausting despair of heroin addiction." - DAILY TELEGRAPH, Australia
My favourite quotes:

  • "When you think you are in love, you don't want to know about the things that could end it."
  • "And so she disappears from this story, or the story disappears."
  • "For a couple of I heard lots of things, some good, some bad. And then after a while I heard nothing."
I was thinking about perhaps doing a book review/what I read every month or so, kinda like a series to continue on this blog. The reason for this is because I love reading and sharing my opinions on books with you guys, so let me know what you think!

Thank you all for reading, have a great day!

Mollie x

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